siamo familiari e la famiglia si attacca
мы семья, и семья слипается
nous sommes famille, et la famille bâtons ensemble
we are family and family sticks together
The sun filtered through the blinds, and Caitlin Snow dug through her dresser drawer for her bikini. Summer days were her weakness, and she couldn't wait to lounge out by her father's pool. It was one of the few acts of leisure that she allowed herself these days.
Stripping out of her sweatpants and tank top, she slithered into the black bikini and adjusted it. Gold hoops connected two thin straps that held up the bottom, and the top crossed halter-style around her neck. It pushed her ample cleavage together, and Caitlin couldn't help but frown at her reflection. To Her father ,Christopher Snow, she was still a little princess who shouldn't dare wear such scandalous things, but Caitlin was twenty now. It was time for her to step out of her shell. She'd spent her entire adult life focused on her education, but that was all behind her now. Independence was her next goal.
Her father hadn't understood when she wanted to go to college, and he loved it even less when she refused to go to the local university. Christopher no doubt thought that she'd come crawling back once her college days were over, and it was only because she couldn't find a job that she was forced to come back home.
And now she couldn't get an apartment. Every application for a job or a place to stay immediately got rejected. She'd graduated at the top of her class, and she had enough money saved up to pay more than the required deposit for apartments. It didn't make sense that she kept getting turned down time and time again. The only logical answer was that her father was involved.
"But you don't need a job, Princess," she mocked in his deep voice. "Everything you'll ever need is right here. I'll take care of you."
Caitlin knew that her father would indeed take care of her, but she wanted to actually stand on her own two feet for once. She wasn't a child anymore, and she didn't want to be treated like one.
Beautiful Brown Hair and matching eyes. Shapely body. She'd been told all her life that she was beautiful, and she knew she turned the heads of her father's men, but when he was around, they averted their eyes and kept their conversations hushed. She'd always been too busy to think of men, even in college, but today she would start her new plan. Do everything she could to get on her father's nerves so he would stop stonewalling her applications.
Dabbing on a little lip gloss, she pushed her sunglasses on and tossed the sheer cover-up over her body. With her pool bag slung over her shoulder, she stepped quickly from her room and down the stone steps.
Christopher Snow was a rich man. As head of the city's Bratva—which made him one of the most powerful men in this entire region of Russia—he'd put a good deal of money into the mansion. He'd always told her that appearances were everything. Expensive artworks lined the walls, most gained through illicit activity. Luxury furniture, Persian rugs, crystal vases. Caitlin had grown up in wealth, and she barely spared it a glance. This was her home. She never even gave it a second thought.
But his life wasn't exactly known to everybody.Four years ago Christopher staged his own death to get away from the press ,the publicants and to shut himself from the outside world.He was a scientist to begin with ,a Doctor.Even before he had any intention of taking on any type of Mob ,he wished to help people.When he married Carla Tannhauser he was over enthusiastic about starting a medical teaching institute under her name.It was a magnificent idea until when Caitlin was 16.Christopher saw the dangers the world had for her so he had to leave.Christipher made Carla and her team forge fake documents regarding the death of Christopher Vivian Snow.Caitlin didn't know a word of this and had feared that her father had really lost his life when the press got a copy of the death certificate.Her heart was broken and she went to her room to lock herself up in grief.But when she swing the door open she hadn't expected to see the very man she believed dead ,Sitting in her bed with a textbook in hand.Her textbook...
Humming a pop song that had been stuck in her head for days, she slid open the glass door that led onto the deck and stepped barefoot out to the dark stained wood. A walkway led out to the large gazebo right in the middle of the pool. On the far side of the pool, a fountain pushed the sparkling water up into a beautiful formation. Gorgeous blue and purple flowers decorated the high wrought-iron privacy fence, and an outside bar and snack station was nestled in the corner.
This manor gave Caitlin peace. Her father rarely used the pool. Occasionally her mother hosted a party, but other than that, it was always quiet. Smiling with glee and with a bounce in her step, she followed the walkway to the island in the middle of the pool and dropped her bag by one of the lounge chairs. After removing her cover-up, she moved to the edge to dip her toes in the water and test the temperature. Something red swirled through the water, and she frowned.
Caitlin saw him out of the corner of her eyes. Panic swamped her, but it wasn't until she turned her head and recognized the shape that she started to scream.
Her father floated face down in the water, surrounded by his own blood.
"Daddy!" she screamed. "Daddy! Someone help me!"
Whirling around to call for his father's guards, her foot slipped off the edge. Still screaming, she hit the wood hard before slipping into the water. Soon, her screams were muffled. The water was freezing, and she quickly sank in shock. When she hit the bottom, she automatically pushed up, but the blood swirled around her, and hysteria set in.
Normally Caitlin was a strong swimmer, but the idea that she was trapped in the pool with her father's body paralyzed her with fear. Strong hands grabbed her and pulled her roughly from the pool. She broke through the surface and fought against her attacker.
"Caitlin ,Caitlin!, you have to stop screaming. Caity! It's just me!"
The familiar voice finally penetrated her fear, and she gasped and spluttered as she sucked in the air. Zeo abyss ,Her cousin,just a few years older, pulled her from the water and wrapped her towel around her shivering body.
"Daddy," she gasped as she turned her head to get another look. "Cri, someone..."
Zeo grabbed her head and kept her from looking back. "Catelìne dear, listen to me. We need to go."
"Go? Go where? We have to call the police."
"And we will," he said soothingly. "We will. But whoever shot your father could still be here, and your safety is our first concern. We need to go now. I need you to calm down and breathe."
Her heart hammered against her ribcage as she pressed her head into his chest. A speck of red hovered at the corner of hiseye. She must have splashed him with the bloody water. She shuddered. The man stroked her wet hair, and she let him guide her from the pool.Zeo was like her best friend ,he quickly manoeuvred both of them into the Manor and to the back exit
"Elise," he said in a low voice. "We need to get her out of here. Get Adrian to call the police and search the grounds for anyone who shouldn't be here. I don't have to tell you to search as much as possible before the police get here. Keep this within the bounds of the law, but we want to clean this in-house. Meet me at the safe house afterward.Someone knew Chris was alive ,so it has to be someone we know"
Elise said something in a low voice, but Caitlin could barely hear her. Blood roared in her ears, and she couldn't get the image out of her head enough to be scared for her own safety.
"Daddy," she whispered. "Who would do that?"
"Your father had a lot of enemies," Zeo said as he wrapped an arm around her and forced her to the garage. "Caity, I need you to focus. At least until we get you to safety. Can you do that?"
She stumbled as he continued to drag her, but there was no fight left in her. Opening the passenger door of one of the cars, he easily folded her inside. Wet and shivering, she wrapped her arms around herself and began rocking back and forth. "Daddy."
Moaning, she barely noticed when Zeo started the car. He peeled out from the house, and she stared aimlessly as the trees flew by. Her father was dead. Her father was dead. It was like a broken record in her head. Her father was dead.
"Son of a bitch," he yelled suddenly and hit the brakes. Lurching forward, she immediately threw up her arms and hit the dashboard. The pain pulled her out of her hypnotic state, and she screamed. "Put on your seatbelt," he hissed.
Twisting her head around, she saw another car driving right next to the them. The driver wore a hood, and she couldn't make out his features, but his intentions were clear. He yanked the wheel, and the car careened dangerously close to her. Both windows shattered as something whizzed by her head, and she immediately ducked.
"Zeooo!" she screamed.
Her cousin let out a string of obscenities and hit the gas. Caitlin looked over to the speedometer and swallowed hard. One wrong move, and Zeo would have them barreling into the guard rail. But the other car stayed even with them.
Suddenly, Zeo slammed on the breaks again, and the other car surged forward. Throwing the car in reverse, Zeo turned his head and careened back to the last street. Pulling the gearshift back to drive, he jerked the car forward to the side street.
"Why would someone try to kill me?" she whispered as she turned her head and looked desperately for danger.
"Think, Caitlin," he said softly. "You could very well have seen the killer and not realized it."
"But I didn't," she gasped. "I didn't see or hear anything. Just Daddy floating in the water." Her stomach roiled, and she pressed a hand to it and tried to take a few shuddering breaths.
"You're in shock," he said grimly. "You may not have known what you saw or heard. There's a good reason that someone is trying to kill you, Caity. They think that you saw something."
She closed her eyes and tried to block out the horrifying images. "What do I do, Zeo? What am I supposed to do?If someone wants to kill me I'm not safe here"
"Your father made sure that you would be taken care of,He may be gone but I'm here for you Catalina,so are the abysses and the snows " he said softly. "You don't have to worry about that, but we need to make sure that you whoever killed your father doesn't kill you."
An hour ago, she was mad that her father had once again blocked her attempt to move out. Now he was dead, and chances were good that she would never go home again.
I won't always be here for you, Princess. You need to pay attention. I'm trying to teach you how to protect yourself.
It had never even occurred to her that her father was right. He wouldn't always be around, and now someone was trying to kill her.
There were times when Caitlin wasn't even sure what was going on around her. Sometimes time stood still, and other times the day was a blur. She got up, went to bed, and had no idea what happened in between.
Zeo and Elise didn't let her out of their sight. She wandered aimlessly around the safe house, a small but well-furnished apartment just outside of town, and tried to focus on what she would do next.Elise abyss too was her cousin ,Younger sister of Zeo ,twin to Chris Abyss named After his uncle Christopher.Victoria was the youngest of the abysses,three years younger than Caitlin.Miranda was their mother ,Her aunt ,the closest thing she had to a mother after Carla Tannhauser who was distraught after her husband's death scandal
A small bag of clothes had been waiting for her at the apartment. When the police finally released the crime scene, she was able to go back for more things, but her cousins wouldn't let her stay, and she didn't really want to.
The sky was overcast on the day of his funeral.Caitlin sat in the pew, squashed between Elise and Zeo ; her aunt Miranda her confident, sat in the pew behind them. She hadn't heard from her since the murder,deciding to let the young girl mourn
Shot in the temple with a thirty-eight. Caitlin had been around weapons all her life. She could easily picture the gun that ended her father's life. The authorities said the killer probably used a silencer and shot her father just minutes before she'd entered the pool area. He was dead before he even hit the water.
She tried to take comfort in the fact that he didn't suffer, but it didn't ease her pain. Her father was dead. Their last conversation had been full of anger.
"Why? Why would you want to move out? Why do you want to leave me?"
"Daddy, I'm an adult. Did you think I would live here forever? College is over. I want to explore the world. I want to get my own place."
"I'm not stopping you."
"But you are! You're keeping anyone from accepting my applications! I know you are! You're driving me insane! You're treating me like a prisoner!"
A lump rose in her throat, and she tried to swallow it down. Now was not the time to fall apart.
"Caity?" Elise whispered. "Do you want to go out and get some air?"
"Is it almost over?" she asked dully. "I can't breathe."
She put an arm around her and squeezed her gently. "Yes, almost. Just hang in there."
The abyss family had been with her father since she was a kid. Then, they were arrogant teenagers looking to make a name for themselves in the mafia, but now they were literally,practically and metaphorically family. Knowing that they were watching over her was the only comfort she had. They were like her older siblings who would fight with you to make you a better person.She trusted them.
Finally, a quiet prayer ended the service, and she stood. Now she just had to endure the burial at the cemetery, and she would finally be able to curl up in her bed with a bottle of wine and try to drown her sorrows.
Caitlin turned to face the congregation. It was packed. Her father's territory was large, and although the business was drenched in violence and blood, he protected those who needed it. Half the city had turned out to pay their respects, and it felt like all eyes were on her.
"Do you think he's here?" she murmured numbly. "Do you think the man who murdered my father is watching me?"
"Come on," Elise said as she nudged her to move. "This isn't about the killer. It's about your father, okay? Focus on that Caity.Things have been arranged by your mother to leave the estate Get a job for you In the city ,At a good place with lots of security.I want you to follow Everything Miranda says ,it's for your own good"
Nodding, she swallowed hard and stepped into the aisle. Everyone bowed their heads and waited for her to make it the door. Everyone except one. She stopped short when someone stepped in front of her to open the door.
"Ms. Snow," he said in a low voice.
Caitlin looked up and drank him in. Tall. Dark hair. Devastating crystal blue eyes and a body that momentarily distracted her. She'd seen him occasionally leaving closed door meetings with her father, but she'd never paid attention to him. She didn't even know his name.
Those piercing eyes never left hers as he held the door opened and waited for her to pass through.
"Thank you," she said softly.
He nodded solemnly but didn't say anything else. Zeo kept urging her forward, but Chris ,her cousin stopped to talk to the stranger in a low voice. For a fleeting moment, she wondered if the gorgeous man had been the one to kill her father. Was he toying with her now?
"Who is that?" she asked as she stopped and turned her head. Chris was already rejoining them.
"His name is Adrian DeLuca," Zeo growled quietly,his blonde tipped brown fox hair shook in annoyance as he muttered something under his breath "Come on, Catalina. We have to go. Everyone is waiting for you."
Dutifully, she bowed her head and followed her brother out. They flanked her on both sides, and she watched almost curiously as their eyes scanned the crowd for potential threats.
"You don't really think that someone would attack me here, at my father's funeral, do you?"
"It's the first time you've been out in the open in days," Chris reminded her. "If time is of the essence, yes, there is no doubt that they'll strike you down at your father's funeral."
Strike her down. The words cause her to shudder, and she retreated back inside of herself. A more intense feeling—rage—quickly overrode her grief and fear. She should have been free to mourn the death of her father, but instead, she had to fear for her life.
Not many cars followed from the domed Russian Orthodox church to the gravesite. The actual lowering of the casket into the grave was meant only for those closest to Christopher. Other than Miranda ,Carla ,Caitlin and her extended family of cousins, everyone there was a business associate. Growing up, Caitlin had spent most of her time acting out because she thought her father loved his men more than he loved her. It was strange to have to share this moment with them.
The sun warmed her skin as she approached the grave, and she frowned. The clouds had cleared. It didn't even seem right. The wind should howl and the thunder roll, but instead, the day was rapidly turning pleasant. Beautiful even.
That evening Miranda ,her dead aunt had come up to her room to have a little chat with her.
Miranda explained all the little details ,Caitlin would lose her middle names and be simply Caitlin Snow ,not Catalina Vivian Tannhauser Snow ,like how her father named her.
She was 20 and will get her Doctorate from the medical university on the other side of the city.Then Caitlin will proceed to live in her Majestic apartment in the CBD (central Bhutanese district) And will work anywhere She pleases to as long as Miranda approves of it.Caitlin can choose to study as long as she wants and study any degree.Caitlin really didn't like the rules set by her aunt but it was for her own good.Her mother would send her an appreciation certificate with which she can get a job anywhere in Central City.The only objection was that Caitlin should not utter a word about her family or where she comes from.She will use the alibi built up by her mother and aunt and stay true to it.
Perhaps,she...she can finally let her old life go there ,maybe she can start over like she always wanted to...
"Barry ,there's an electric fire on 5th aven-"
"On it" Came The Flash's voice through the coms,along with a white signalling to Caitlin that he,was on the move.
Possiamo essere divisi, ma siamo uniti per sempre
Разделенные мы можем быть, но мы едины, навсегда
Divisés nous pouvons être, mais unis nous sommes, pour toujours
Divided we may be, but united we are, forever...