In Red (Chapter 9, page 2 of 3)


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Roxanne dangled her legs over the bed and sat with the back turned to the window.

"What are you gonna do with us?"

"Nothing. Your father will be back soon and he'll distribute each of you where you belong. However… No, wait… You're right. No one will want you two. You're a pair of rebels. And, besides… the one in blue was assigned to me, so…"

He came closer and sat down again beside her.

"To be honest, I don't know what's to become of you."

"Maybe you could kill us, like you killed Helen?" she said, much more nervous than she would have wanted.

"Excuse me?"

Roxanne, then, realized her mistake.

He was staring at her, deeply intrigued. He grinned from ear to ear.

"I believe you got me confused… But enlighten me, please!"

Although she couldn't be sure, it was likely that she had in fact made a mistake, since it had happened so many years before.

"You really don't know anything about it?"

"Nothing at all."

They were suddenly peacefully sharing confidences, as if they were two companionable friends. Roxanne organically needed a moment of relaxation, and Mr. Harris was too pricked by curiosity.

"How long have you known my father?"

"Uhm… Let me see… fourteen years?"

"No, I was… about seven then. This must have happened at least eighteen years ago."

"Go on."

The young woman hesitated for a couple of seconds and continued speaking.

"Helen lived here in the castle. She was a bit younger than my mother. One day, Father realized she talked too much and resigned herself too little."

"And he killed her?"

"Yes."

Mr. Harris burst out laughing, holding his stomach.

"But that's fantastic! Well, well, well."

The first thing that crossed his mind was how valuable this information could eventually become against Leonard.

"I wonder," he said, focusing on Roxanne again, "what else you know that your sisters ignore."

She didn't answer.

"I'm off. And I'm leaving you with good news. For the time being, the doors will remain open. I trust you won't do any silly things while I'm not here. Buuut… just in case, let me give you a little inside information. If any of the six is missing… the rest will be getting a rough deal. I don't know really to what point you care for one another, but it'll be fun to find out."

The handsome athletic man, about ten years older than her, remained deep in thought for a while, leaning on the door frame. It was strange what he had felt being with her. Far from hurting his ego, the lack of attraction she'd showed had made him feel at ease. Comfortable. Under a different set of circumstances, in a different place, they might have become friends. Is age softening you up, Harris?

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