Cry Wolf

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by Elle Joyner, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. The only person who may have been more stunned than Isabela Rossi was the bellhop himself. Nearby employees watched in shock while initial confusion from Rossi suddenly melted into a curious amusement. Before his aunt could assess what had just happen and retaliate, Adam Rossi took Elodie by the arm as he made a break for the door. He did so, laughing, and with a light energy almost reminiscent to a mischievous school boy.

    By the time he slowed down the Danieli was far behind them and he had broken out into a bit of sweat. The chuckles still hadn't left the local completely and with his head down and his hands resting on his knees, he apologized. "Ahah..hah, sorry for making you run in those shoes but uh...trust me when I say it's for the best."

    He stopped speaking in order to fully catch his breath and then stood up straight, smiling. "My aunt doesn't handle people well as you can probably tell...and doesn't handle being told off even worse."

    "I know...I know. That's kinda weird considering she's in the hospitality business." Rossi then added with a shake of the head. He took out a handkerchief from his back pocket and offered it to her, a sweet smile still on his lips. "Isabela Rossi isn't the type of woman to get stunned often, Elodie. Consider me impressed."

    It was the truth but if he had been completely honest, Rossi would've had told his companion that he expected her to wilt in his aunt's draining presence rather than politely tell her to leave them the hell alone. It seemed like there was still plenty to learn from Miss Summers and the local suddenly felt his earlier curiosity arising.

    He stopped his thoughts from running wild however and offered her his arm once more. "C'mon. I promise we'll walk the rest of the way to Elizah's."
     
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  2. Truth be told, Elodie was just as stunned by her react as Rossi had been. In reality, it wasn't like her at all, speaking back. She had been raised to understand her place in the world, and it was very small and quiet. Snapping at Rossi's aunt left her a little shaken, and despite their race from the hotel, she was struck by chills the moment they stopped.

    The only thing that made it considerably less uncomfortable was Rossi's reaction, and when he finally paused, doubling over with a fit of laughter, Elodie found her smile again, "I'm sorry... I just cannot tolerate that sort of behavior. Honestly, being older does not give anyone the right to be rude. And considering she's your family?"

    With a huff, she bent down and unclipped the strap of her heels, sliding her feet free, "Not that it surprises me. My... my mother has something of a common thread with your aunt. It's a large part of why we haven't..."

    Straightening, she shook her head, "Sorry... You don't want to hear those sordid details. Is it far?"
     
  3. "Would you be surprised if I said I would?" Rossi quickly interjected, intent on not letting the chance of learning more about her slip past him. Ignoring her inquiry about distance for the moment, he stood a little straighter and cleared his throat before repeating himself with a lighter, joking tone. "If there's anything I share in common with my aunt its an interest in the sordid details of others' personal lives."

    He hoped his tone was enough to communicate the fact that he was simply trying to make the topic more approachable for the both of them. Unlike his aunt, the Local had no intention of taking whatever Elodie was willing to tell him and using it against her. Rossi simply wanted to know more. "Besides...you said it yourself. Your mother and my aunt are alike."

    "Hell if it makes you feel better I'm completely willing to go next. Since I moved to Italy my aunt has given me more than enough information to work with." He chuckled lightly before nodding over towards the direction of Elizah's manor. "Its still quite the walk from here so we've got the time to exchange the juiciest bits along the way."
     
  4. Smiling dryly, Elodie looked up at Rossi with a shrug, "Alright. But I warn you, you asked." Giving him a gentle nudge with her shoulder, she moved her eyes forward again, the smile fading slightly as she considered where... how, even, to start laying out the details of her ridiculous upbringing.

    "They're not bad people. My parents. They just... they don't live in the real world, you know? I suppose in a way, I'm a lot like them. Or I was, before I moved out. If things had gone according to plan, well... I certainly wouldn't be here, chasing down a lost little boy, or trying to figure out who murdered his nanny. I... I was engaged. We grew up together, Eddie and me. Our... arrangement was planned, pretty much the day I was born. You think those sorts of things died out in the middle ages, but like I said... my family doesn't exactly function on a normal level."

    Clearing her throat, she rubbed the back of her neck, feeling heat creep along beneath her hairline, "Anyway. I found out a few hours before walking the aisle that he was... had been, for a while, actually... seeing my friend behind my back. By seeing, I mean sleeping with her. I thought I'd be angry. Maybe I was, to some extent. But I was also relieved, and I guess that's when I realized that their life? The life that they had planned out for me wasn't going to work, anymore."

    Biting the edge of her lip, she glanced his way again, "That wasn't something they were willing to hear, however. They cut me off. Pretty definitively. Told me that unless I came to my senses, I was not going to be allowed back into their home. At first, I was terrified, but I did okay. I got a job and a place to stay... But my family? We... we haven't spoken in a good, long while. A few years, honestly."
     
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  5. Her story was one that fell on sympathetic ears. It had the makings of the kind of story that broke someone. His own family was volatile, impulsive and sometimes down right insane...but they remained just that through and through. His family. They may have not been the greatest people but they never turned their back on him.

    To learn that Elodie's had done the exact opposite Iit made him feel anger at individuals he would never know.

    Rossi remained quiet while she spoke purely out of respect, offering a nod and a glance every once in a while so she could be confident that he was listening. In the local's opinion, talking about yourself was easy but talking about your past was a whole different story. It required you to become a certain level of vulnerable and that had always been difficult for him...being genuinely vulnerable.

    Yet Elodie was willing to be that way with him and it'd only be right if he did the same. The question was...could he actually do it?

    "You are yourself before you are any man or woman's daughter." The local extended a friendly arm and wrapped it around her shoulder. He held Elodie firmly before giving his companion a little shake. He chuckled softly. "The fact that after all that you are standing here willingly putting your neck on the line for a helpless confirms it you know."

    "You are stronger than you seem, Miss Summers. Much stronger." He admitted, an admiration in his voice while they walked.
     
  6. "Oh..." Blushing softly, Elodie lowered her gaze, a twitch of a smile curving the corner of her lips, "Well... I don't know about all that. But thank you, Rossi. Truth be told, they did me a favor. I didn't know who I was before all of that happened, and in the end, I'm better for it. If I had gone along with it, if I had let them break me down, I'd be married right now... probably a mother, sitting at home, watching the world go by without me."

    Rubbing her arms, she shrugged and looked back over at him, "I mean, it's not that I don't want those things. But I want them on my terms. I want to know that I have my own terms. That I have a choice. And if that means that I have no relationship with my parents, then that's really on them. I can't make them approve of me, but I won't be the person that they do approve of. And you shouldn't have to put up with your aunt treating you the way she does, either. It's not fair of her to judge you for who you were, if that's not who you are, anymore. Family doesn't always get it right, I suppose."

    Chuckling softly, she lowered her arms again, "I guess maybe I am a lot stronger than I realize. But I like to think that I would help someone in need, no matter what my circumstances. It's the right thing to do. And that's what makes it easier to trust you. Because you didn't have to help, either... Yet, here you are."
     
  7. "Ah...my aunt. I'm afraid I really do have to put up with her." Rossi laughed, his tone betraying him by being significantly more bittersweet than he had intended. The local shook his head, steel blue eyes looking away from her and down at his shoes. For a moment, the sound of them tapping against the stone was all that filled the air. The local searched for the right way to word his feelings--something he was never adept at.

    "When I first moved to Italy I was quite the uh...volatile young man. My father was a good man and oddly enough I hated him for it. Growing up I could never meet the expectations he had for me and after my mother left us, well he had all but given up on me. Isabela Rossi was his last resort."

    "And it worked...at least for awhile. I was thrown right into work at the very first Danieli. It was just a small inn at the time but it was immensely popular. I didn't have the time or energy for anything...drugs, alcohol, nothing. It was what my dad wanted." Rossi looked back up but could not bring himself to look her in the eyes. Being vulnerable about it all was hard enough, but to spill his guts and make eye contact? Nah, he couldn't. "Then he went and died and I...being an absolute idiot ran away. For close to a decade."

    Rossi found himself hesitant. He wasn't ready to share the specifics of those years off the grid yet here he was leading Elodie to a woman who knew everything about him, and his actions. "I only came back to my aunt two years ago. I expected the worse but she welcomed me back."

    "She forgave me when I deserved no forgiveness and that's why I let her act the way she does." Rossi concluded. He talked a storm and it hadn't occurred to him until this moment. Another sheepish chuckle, another head shake, and then he apologized. "I'm sorry...that was uh quite the tangent I just went off on. Hah."

    "Er...Elizah's isn't too far from here. We'll be hearing the music anytime now."
     
  8. "You don't have to apologize." Smiling, Elodie shrugged,and idly, she fiddled with the edges of her sleeves, considering how best to broach the topic that had been on her mind since their interrogation earlier that morning, "It's nice, honestly, to know a little more about you. All these warnings I keep getting. It's nice to know you're not some serial killer or maniac who makes lampshades out of women's body parts."

    "Really, it sounds like we're opposite sides of the same coin, in a lot of ways. But if it's all the same, Ross... Whatever you feel like you owe her, or however much she may have helped you, no one should have to put up with that sort of behavior. She called the police on you, about a murder. That's pretty messed up, by anyone's standards. I mean, I wouldn't recommend cutting her out of your life, but it's alright to put down boundaries."

    Blinking, she chuckled softly, shaking her head, "Sorry. I have a bit more of my mother in me than I guess I realize, sometimes. It's your life, and no one should tell you how to live it - Not even me. Though I don't think I'm going to get the image of her bursting through those doors and shouting at you out of my head, any time soon. Was she speaking Italian? Because I thought it might be English, but I hardly heard a word of it."
     
  9. "I don't exactly consider myself a good man if I'm honest, Elodie." Rossi spoke seriously, stopping for a moment. This time he'd look her in the eyes as it was something he simply had to get across to her before they went any deeper in the rabbit hole that was slowly approaching them. "But I'm no murderer and never will be."

    "In fact that's the reason why..." He trailed off and then shook his head. He had been angry when he learned of what his aunt had done but not surprised. Considering everything his aunt had seen and heard about him...Rossi almost expected it. That didn't make it feel any better though. "Its the reason why Elizah is an old friend rather than just a friend. She's crime by blood and well...I'm sure she'll be willing to tell you all about it when we arrive. Talkative type."

    He resumed walking, his tone returning to its usual lighter sound. "As for my Miss Rossi...well it was a good mixture of both. When it was just me her and my dad, he was adamant that I retain my English accent so I spoke Italian at work and English at home. Guess it just rubbed off on her."

    He laughed lightly before sliding his hands into the pockets of his blue suit jacket. The local then shrugged. "Weird to think we met just this morning...these aren't really things I tell acquaintances. Heh."
     
  10. "Maybe you're not a good man, but you're a man who is doing something good, and that's all that matters to me. Though I am glad to hear you haven't actually..." She had wondered, when she saw the gun, and moreso after so many people felt inclined to tell her to be careful. But she knew what it was to be misjudged - perhaps not in the same way, but certainly in a way that hurt, just the same. She'd made it an effort, after all that had happened to her, not to do the same to anyone.

    "And what I told you, it's not exactly something I would tell a stranger, either. But I guess situations like this, they sort of escalate things quicker than just meeting in a shop or on the street, you know?" Smiling slightly, she lowered her gaze again, her cheeks flushed, "I've also never kissed someone the same day I've met them, so... there's that. That's not to say you have to tell me anything. I understand if you'd rather keep things to yourself. But I don't mind... listening."

    As they neared their destination, her steps slowed a little and the smile drifted into a frown. She trusted Rossi, probably more than she ought to, but that didn't meant that she necessarily trusted the people he did. If this woman they were going to meet was dangerous, as dangerous as he suggested...

    But if it helped Vinny, there wasn't much she wouldn't do.
     
  11. "I'm afraid I can't say the same thing...er about the kissing on the same day part." He laughed, no-snorted, which brought out another round of chuckles. It was an amusing notion to admit and the local reflected her smile with his own. The grin faded when the sound of heavy bass became audible for the both of them. They were close.

    The unlikely duo turned two more corners and what was a quiet evening walk along the water transitioned into Rossi and Elodie doing their best to maneuver through crowded alleyways filled with wasted party goers. Different club's music clashed against one another in the smoky neon haze. Rossi took her hand and navigated through the chaos with a grim familiarity.

    He could feel his stomach sink the deeper into the back streets they went. It wasn't because he was nervous for himself though but instead nervous for Elodie. The local could not take the time to ask her how she was doing...in a situation like this it'd be best if they just get in and get out as quick as possible.

    He was already concerned for his companion but the nagging feeling in the back of his head about Vinny made it all the worse.

    Elizah's usual hangout stood out from the run down clubs you had to pass by in order to reach it. The Orchid Lounge. A traditional building revitalized and renovated to host the most elite of Venice's night life. Lights made the large, bustling building glow a dark purple and outside its grand front doors a large line waited to be let in by a series of men in tuxedos.

    Rossi sighed before he turned back to her, his hand finally letting go of hers. "I'm gonna have to go talk to some people before we get in. Make sure they get a good look at my face...are you okay with waiting outside for a bit?"

    He looked around at the various people scattered about the streets, frowning. "I know that's asking a lot but I think it'd be for the best if I go first--alone."
     
  12. "Well... I won't judge you for it. Out loud anyway." Elodie teased, as he remarked about his loose lips. He was certainly not the sort of man her parents would have approved of... But maybe that was what made him so interesting.

    But all those thoughts faded away swiftly as the music became louder... A throbbing beat, like the heart of the night. She'd never been much for nightclubsl, and certainly not in foreign cities, where she barely spoke the language.

    Yet when Rossi turned to ask her if she minded waiting outside, Elodie felt her stomach drop, staring at him for a silent moment as she contemplated the best way to say yes... Yes she minded. Being left alone sounded like, quite possibly, the worst idea she'd heard yet...

    Instead, maddeningly, she found herself nodding, "Yeah, sure. Just... just hurry back, alright? It's a bit chilly..." She hugged her arms for emphasis, thiugh she didn't suppose it was necessary... It was apparent by the warmth of the weather her excuse held very little weight, though it was true enough that a certain other chill had begun to creep along her spine...

    "And be careful... Okay?"
     
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  13. "You have my word." Rossi promised, a frown on his lips as he turned and began walking towards the doors. He merged into the street crowd and soon enough, Elodie's face became lost in the wave. The local didn't want to leave her on her own but you don't just return to see a scorned lover with another woman on your arm...at least not immediately.

    Stopping for a moment at the first steps to take a breath, Rossi hoped that this visit would be worth it. With his hands in his pockets and a handsome smile he approached the group of guards. They stopped him immediately. The local's eyes scanned the men and unfortunately recognized no one. Elizah must have made changes. It took some convincing but eventually the local managed to get the guards to send his name up the wire and five minutes later, he was granted entry and told to make his way immediately to the Red room.

    The Orchid Lounge was full and bustling with rich socialites. Rossi maneuvered the floor with familiarity and ease. The Red Room stood at the top of a grand staircase, but the local made a quick detour before heading up. A sudden left here and a right there and Rossi found himself in the men's room. It was empty, which would make this entire thing a bit simpler. Moving into one of the stalls, the local reached into the back of his pants and slid out the handgun he had hidden the entire time.

    He checked to see it was loaded before turning of the safety. Frowning, he then tucked it away once more. Stepping out of the stall, Rossi moved over and leaned against the sink. His own blue eyes staring back at him, he took one more deep breath.
    It had been nearly thirty minutes since Rossi disappeared into the crowd, before things seemed to take a darker turn. The sound was subtle, almost completely overpowered by the sound of the bass vibrating through the walls, but they were heard nonetheless. Gunshots rung throughout the Lounge and suddenly, it became a mad race for the doors.

    They poured out into the streets where Rossi had left his companion, but the local's face would not be one seen fleeing the scene.
     
  14. Elodie could have sworn, up and down, that her heart stopped the moment she heard the first of the shots. It was a sound unlike any other - though some might argue without having heard it, that it was reminiscent to a car backfiring, or fireworks. But those things, no matter how sudden and loud, were not accompanied by the same sense of dread, the same horrible feeling of imminent disaster. The screaming erupted almost immediately, and bodies began flooding out into the street - strangers, their expressions masks of fear and uncertainty. They ran, clambering over each other, and Elodie barely had enough time to throw herself back against the wall, to avoid being trampled.

    Her hand clutched her chest, her breath a gasp that she couldn't quite drive deep enough. As the crowd thinned, she could see the doorway. Reason told her to run - to make for the hotel and call the police. To book a ticket that night and fly home in the morning. Reason told her to get out. That she was in too deep, that she was over her head. She was a foolish, sheltered child, and she needed to turn around and go back to her life, before she got herself killed.

    Reason told her all of that... and still, she pushed through the crowd and ran for those doors, calling out over the cacophony of sound for Rossi.
     
  15. His head rung horribly and it only grew worse with each ringing shot. Needless to say the meeting with Elizah hadn't gone to plan... because Elizah hadn't even been there to begin with. Rossi was caught off guard. Half an hour earlier the local left the bathroom, went up the stairs and expected to see the blonde bombshell waiting for him at her seat above the entire lounge. Instead he felt the butt of a rifle hit him right on the nose.

    He barely managed to retain enough consciousness to run and the next thing he knew the men upstairs were shooting up the dance floor aiming for him. With his back against one of the stripper stages and his gun held defensively at his side, Rossi glanced over at a a dancer bleeding out just a few feet away from him.

    He was in deep, perhaps deeper than he had ever been. Rossi should have ran, just kept on running out with the rest of the masses. But he just couldn't bring himself to leave now... he saw him. He saw Vinny. He didn't realize it until his head cleared, but those wide brown eyes were unmistakable. Whether or not this was Elizah's set up or otherwise, the boy they were searching for was here.

    He winced in pain and rubbed his mouth with the sleeve of his jacket. Dark blood from his nose stained the steel blue fabric. The music was still playing, loud as ever. But then Rossi heard her and his heart nearly stopped. He glanced upwards at the Red Room. Vinny was there but not for long...this could be his last opportunity to save Vinny.

    But then at the same time Elodie was closing in on a room full of gunmen, none the wiser. He made a decision, cursing to himself as he made a break for the entrance. A gun man spotted him though and Rossi dived into the hallway but not before he felt the burning sensation of bullets slicing right through his left calf.

    He was limping when he saw her, running on little more than adrenaline. For a moment he wondered how in over his head he must have appeared, but their safety wasn't guaranteed not yet, not in the slightest. Rossi didn't have the time to scold her for not listening to him. So with wide eyes he simply motioned over to the dispersing crowd outside.

    "We need to get lost in that. They...they might be following me." Rossi shouted tiredly, before suddenly collapsing to one knee. "Shit, shit shit. My leg's on fire!"
     
  16. The worst thing that Elodie had been through, in her entire existence, had been watching a young teen girl run out into traffic and get struck by a car. She has survived, but she had been pretty banged up. The sounds had been horrible, and it was something she would never forget.

    But it paled in concern with all that was happening now. Panic vied for control over her emotions, and she struggled to grip anything else, but as Rossi suddenly emerged, she lost all sense of control over it.

    He'd been hit. She could see the burst of. Red on his charcoal grey pant leg and as he dropped she moved swiftly to his side, sliding his arm over her shoulder.

    "Come on... Keep moving!"
     
  17. Rossi had only been shot on three occasions in his life time. Each time were equally excruciating so it came to no surprise that his fourth was sending his head spinning. Everything that he heard sounded off, his vision was blurred, and his head was still constantly throbbing. The local began to wonder the worse. What if he had concussion?

    Still, Rossi hobbled, as best as he could with the help of Elodie. He wanted to look over his shoulder and see if they were being followed but it began to take all his concentration and effort to just move forward. Despite all that, they found themselves slowly but surely putting distance between them and the lounge. Between them and Vinny.

    Rossi's eyes shifted downwards towards Elodie, who was perhaps too busy trying to keep him alive to notice. How would she respond if he told her? How would she feel if she knew they were so close? He frowned, grunting as scared party goers rushed all around them. He was getting ahead of himself.

    "I...I don't think we can make it to my apartment." He huffed. His blood was trailing behind the two of them in drops. He chuckled cynically. "At least not before I lose about a gallon."
     
  18. Her heart was hammering so hard against her chest she was sure it had bruised her. Tears stung, blurred her vision, but she held them at bay, determined to keep moving... To get to safety. It had been awful, the waiting, but she would gladly have taken hours more, if it meant avoiding a mess like this.

    As they broke into the crowd, Elodie tipped her head back to see if anyone was pursuing them, but in throng of strangers it was impossible to tell. Frowning, she grabbed his wrist and gave him a nudge towards the same alley she had found to hide out in.

    "Stay still for a second... Let me try something." Bending down, she tugged off her cardigan and giving the expensive fabric one lingering look, she flinched, before tearing the seam on one of the sleeves, tying it carefully around his shin. It wasn't exactly a foolproof tourniquet, but it would have to make do.

    "Where should we go," she asked,rising to her feet.
     
  19. It was a good question but one he didn't have the answer to. Rossi could hear the police sirens in the distance and it immediately disqualified heading towards a hospital. They would take him and keep him there long enough for the likes of De Luca to come by and if they caught wind that he and Elodie were involved in the shooting that'd be it. Neither of them would get any rest.

    He looked down at the remnants of her cardigan and while it may have been dumb to feel bad, he did. This wasn't the type of thing she should be experiencing. This was the type of thing he had been avoiding all this time. "Elodie...I...sorry."

    It was nearly midnight and they were right in the middle of one of the more grittier districts in Venice. There were people he knew in this part of town, in the same vein of how he knew Elizah. It was a gamble, but there was one that he trusted most of all. Growling he pushed himself to stand and he moved to recklessly. He lost his balance and stumbled into a nearby trash can. "There's one place, maybe ten minutes from here. Old friend."

    "Hopefully this one won't try and kill me though."
     
  20. Old friend.

    Elodie wanted to remind him that the people that had shot at him, that had quite literally -shot- him went by that particular description as well, but she didn't think, all things considered, being passive aggressive was going to help. She brushed off his apology, if for no other reason that it didn't do to dwell on the loss of her sweater when he was the one bleeding half to death. She appreciated that he cared, but in the end it was just clothes.

    Clothes could be replaced, but people, not so much... and if he died, her first thought wouldn't be how much the cashmere sweater had cost. She didn't even want to consider what would happen if she were left on her own. Right now, her biggest concern was getting Rossi to safety, so she didn't even need to worry about that option.

    "Okay. You... you're gonna have to help me get there, though." She slung his arm back around her and pressed her weight back to help keep him upright, "So... just... Just hang on, until we get where we need to go, okay? Just... try to hang on, please."