Juliana was biting the tip of her nails, sitting in the car and not taking her eyes off from the Carvajal mansion. The house was guarded heavily - but she and one of her crew men managed to find a neat vantage point to keep a look out on the house. The sun glinted off her sunglasses as she scoured the place for any sight of Valentina.
"Are you sure this is not stalking?" her henchman inquired casually - but Juls was in no casual mood.
"Look, if she had told me she wanted space - I have no problem giving her all the space she needs." she explained, coming off extremely defensive.
"She said she wanted to meet me yesterday morning, and I haven't heard a word from her since." she continued, the concern apparent in her tone.
"The woman uploads an Instagram story every three hours, trust me this is suspicious." Her henchman shrugged in reply, his eyes still on the house.
Juls was growing more and more worried; mostly because surveilling the Carvajal house was proving to be futile. She glanced at her watch and knew it was getting late. She clicked her tongue in defeat, turning to catch her reflection in the rear-view mirror. She silently winced remembering the evening she and Valentina spent picking out sunglasses in the park and shook the memory from her head.
If someone's harmed her, I'm gonna kill them.
"I'm going back - you stay here and keep me updated if anything happens." she ordered, and her aide nodded, stepping out of the car.
Juls strutted into her own huge house, her attention divided between worry for Valentina’s whereabouts and preparations for the next day. She pulled out her gun from the back of her pants and settled herself on the couch - deciding to do the one thing that normally calmed her down - cleaning her gun. She was quite engrossed when Inspector Montilla sauntered into the house, flanked on both sides by two police officers who were her own men. Juliana was in the least bothered by this, though she wasn't particularly pleased with the way Montilla just traipsed into the place.
"Inspector, to what do I owe this honour." she inquired in a flat tone, still cleaning her gun and not raising her glance to acknowledge Montilla, sunglasses still on her face.
"Ms. Valdes, always a pleasure." he answered, well aware that if he made a mistake, it would be his last. He was doing his best to not reveal his fear. He knew the minute he did - he would be dead.
"There have been some rather disturbing developments, and I was hoping to absolve you of any blame before dealing with them." he explained, eyeing Juliana carefully to see if she betrayed any guilt. Juliana carried on, indifferent to Montilla's prodding.
"What's the gun for?" he asked, trying to be more assertive, in the hopes that Juliana would at least look at him.
"Safety. Accidents happen, you know?" she replied, her voice monotonous and still not looking up. Montilla internally gulped at that, as he knew a showdown between her and the El Alacran cartel was long due.
"I get the feeling there's going to be a lot of accidents soon." he voiced out, fear running through his mind.
Juliana was growing tired of Montilla's questioning, and finally looked at the guy and breathed out in exasperation.
"What do you want Montilla." She turned back to her gun, continuing to clean it with extreme care.
"Valentina Carvajal has been reported missing."
Juls stopped at that, her heart sinking. She had suspected it but hearing it from Montilla made it real.
Montilla nodded, "She hasn't been seen since day-before yesterday."
"Why am I hearing about this now?" Juliana questioned back, not looking up at Montilla, thinking her face might give away her anxiety. She was normally kept informed of this kind of affairs.
"The family filed a report an hour ago- it will be all over the media soon."
Juls decided that she had been still for long and began assembling her gun.
"Why have you come to me?" Juls asked, doing her best to make her tone flat again.
"Well, she was last seen with you at the park."
Juls looked up sharply at that, and Montilla could feel the fury in her eyes in spite of the sunglasses.
"What are you implying, Inspector." Juliana threatened, her voice low but fearsome, and Montilla knew he was on thin ice.
"That maybe there was a mistake."
At that a shot echoed through the house. Montilla jumped, yelping as he did. Juls was still sitting down, half wishing she had actually shot him.
"That was a mistake, Inspector." Juliana sneered getting up and approaching Montilla who stumbled backwards.
"And the next time you think you can just walk into my house and accuse me of hurting a dear friend - there will be no mistakes made." she finished, nodding to the two men who dragged Montilla out of the house.
Now that she knew that Valentina was kidnapped, Juls' mind was in overdrive. She immediately raced up the stairs to get Sara, she knew she had to amp up the search for Valentina.
Sara was busy preparing the kidnapped girl's food in her room when she heard the shot from the floor below. She gingerly went to see what was going on, and seeing that it was just Inspector Montilla, went back to her work. She was just preparing a mix of sleeping pills with juice when she caught sight of a familiar face on the television.
She took a look at the banner on the TV which read "Valentina Carvajal, youngest daughter of the Carvajal family reported missing."
What the! Oh Juls is going to kill me!
As if on cue, she heard Juliana yell out for her as she marched into the room, waving her gun.
"Valentina has been kidnapped, I knew it." she barked, rage obvious in her manner.
Sara gulped seeing her, but she knew she had to tell Juliana.
"What!?" Juls demanded, seeing her cousin pale with dread.
"Do - do you remember that- that girl we kidnapped?" Sara stuttered, barely able to find her voice. Juliana however did not understand what that had to do with anything.
"What about that?"
"You- you - might want to put the gun down?" Sara gulped- and at that Juliana finally pieced it together. Juliana grabbed her cousin by her shirt and pinned her against the wall, gun still in her hand.
"YOU KIDNAPPED VALENTINA!?" Juliana snapped, her eyes widening in horror at the realization that it was she who had kidnapped Val after all.
"I'M SORRY! I DIDN'T KNOW WHO SHE WAS TILL NOW!" Sara pleaded, and Juls let go of her cousin as defeat filled her entire body. She gripped her head with both her hands, amazement and terror filling her entire being.
"She's fine, she's safe - and I swear I didn't know who she was when this happened." Sara offered, seeing Juls' anguished face. Juls however would not hear of it.
"Let her go. NOW!" Juliana ordered, her head hurting and gut twisting at how complicated things had become.
Sara nodded, "She's asleep now - but the minute she's awake I'll let her go. " Sara promised, trying to placate Juliana, who was pacing all over the room like a caged tiger.
"How did we let this happen!" Juliana ranted, consumed with disbelief and shock. Sara was collecting herself when Juls mindlessly grabbed the glass of juice that was on the table and gulped it down.
Sara was not looking at her cousin, and she shook her head, thinking that maybe the next kidnapping would have to be executed better.
"What do I do?" Juliana whispered, falling on to the bed. She had just understood that all her hopes of a romance with Valentina had just gone in a flash.
Sara's mind was trying to work, but it was not easy, so she sat down on the bed next to Juliana. Juls buried her head in her hands, and the two of them sat in silence for a long time.
"It doesn't have to be the end." Sara offered, struggling to comfort Juls, who suddenly seemed to be quite tired.
"How?" Juls slurred back defeated.
"I don't know - maybe you can say that it was I who kidnapped her and then you could pretend to rescue her or something." Sara pondered - but she realized that it was a far-fetched idea when she said it out loud.
Juliana however seemed interested in that proposal.
"That - that could be possible."
"No - that - no it's too complicated!" Sara countered, surprised that Juliana was even considering the idea.
What's wrong with her?
Sara looked at her cousin in surprise, who was almost falling over to the floor - and that was when she noticed the empty glass of juice.
"Juls, maybe you should sleep a bit." Sara immediately began, pulling her cousin from the edge of the bed and trying to get her to lie down. Juls was finding it difficult to fight off her cousin.
"What - no - I've got to go see Valentina." she resisted but finding her body quite weak.
Sara was patient, carefully pulling the gun from Juls' adamant hands and telling her that Val was asleep, and she could see her as soon as she was awake.
Juls was soon on the verge of deep sleep, sunglasses still on- and Sara was about to sneak out to check on Val when Juliana remarked out loud.
"Sara, if there's so much as a hair missing from Val's head, I will cut you into little pieces."
Sara nodded, knowing very well that her cousin would carry out her threat when she woke up.
I better go count her hair then.