Ralph stood in front of door wondering if he should knock. Sighing, he reached out to touch the door, but it swung open. “Ralph! I thought you would never come back!” Anabel enveloped him into a hug. “What took you so long? No wait, tell me as we eat. I’m starving,” smiling; Anabel hooked her arm through Ralph’s and led him down the street.
The couple strolled down the street, enjoying the quietness of the night, providing them with the privacy that an engaged coupled would need. Anabel shivered and Ralph wrapped his arm around her and pulled her close. That was all she needed, a few minutes later, Ralph found himself backed up against a wall with Anabel standing in front of him, pointing a gun at his chest. “Anabel?” he asked, looking at her in disbelief. “What is going on? Where did you get that?”
Anabel glared at him, “You are getting what you deserve, death for your lies.” Ralph shifted to get a bit closer, but Anabel anticipated his move, “Don’t you dare. I can seriously use this thing!” Ralph froze, “That is better. Now, take a deep breath and close your eyes, it will be quick.” Ralph looked around wildly for an escape route, but he couldn’t find a way out. Anabel took a deep breath herself and pulled the trigger. Just then, Ralph Spencer vanished as Jimmy Valentine appeared, ducking at the last minute; Jimmy’s leg lashed out and knocked the gun from Anabel’s hand.
Anabel screamed, but it was cut short when Jimmy’s hand covered it. “For heaven’s sake, what do you think you are doing?!” Jimmy snarled, “Trying to kill your fiancée? Not the best wife-to-be material I would expect from Ms. Anabel Adams.”
“Let me go you treacherous demon!” Anabel jerked away from him and desperately looked around for her gun. Hearing Jimmy chuckle, she turned around and watched Jimmy pull her small revolver out from his coat pocket. “Give that to me!” she cried lunging for the gun, but Jimmy side-stepped away from her, catching her by the waist before she hit the hard ground.
“Please Anabel, with that attitude; a person would have thought you were raised on the streets. Where did all your manners go?” Jimmy mocked her. Calmly, he let go her and walked away, “I’ll be seeing you later dear, when you get control of yourself.”
When he disappeared, Anabel sank onto the ground, how could she have failed!? Her plan was simple and she had obviously caught him off guard, how did he have enough time to strike back? Questions and accusation ran through her head. She had to kill, that was certain. Now that she had slipped through his fingers, was Ralph D. Spencer going to haunt another rich young woman? She didn’t want an answer to that. One thing was definite; Ralph D. Spencer had to die, as quickly as possible.
Ralph walked down the street, thought running through his head. What was going on with Anabel? Had she really tried to kill him back there in the alley? No, he shook his head, that wasn’t his Anabel, but there was just that something in her eyes that made him shudder with dread. Hatred and anger so fierce, he was sure it would leap out of her like living flames to consume him. So caught up was he in this thoughts that he walked right into a young woman.
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she gasped. Jimmy wrenched himself out of his mind and focused his eyes on the woman in front of him. She was small, much smaller than Anabel, maybe only 5’ 1” with waist length black hair and huge golden colored eyes. “Sir…are you okay?”
“Huh? Oh, yes, beg your pardon. I was so wrapped up with my thoughts of this beautiful evening I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going,” smiling, Jimmy held out his hand, “Ralph D. Spencer. I own the shoe store down Main Street.”
“Ralph Spencer? Why, you must be Anabel’s fiancée! I’m Sunny Eternal, reporter for Elmore Enlightenment. It must be so exciting to be getting married in two weeks!” she replied smiling at him.
“Well, I’m afraid that there might not even be a wedding,” Jimmy replied solemnly. He watched Sunny’s eyes widen as her reporter instincts demand she find out more.
“If it is okay with you, may I ask, what happened?” she questioned, looking excited and worried at the same time.
“It’s fine. I just returned from a friend’s place. I had ordered my wedding suit and I had bought something for Anabel. We went out for dinner together and Anabel attacked me. She held me against a wall and tried to kill me with a gun,” Ralph said softly.
“Oh my goodness, that must have been terrifying for you, but Anabel is such a kindred spirit, she wouldn’t harm anyone, much less her most beloved one,” Sunny said.
“I don’t know what has happened, but I beg you, please do not release this to the Enlightenment, it would greatly embarrass Anabel. As much as I am shocked by her behavior, I still love her and wish her well,” Ralph replied.
“Where will you go? If you have escaped Anabel once, she is sure to come after you again,” Sunny asked.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be staying at Elmore until she has settled down. I want to make sure that she is happy before I move on.”
“You are a very kind man Ralph.” Jimmy nodded and continued down the street. Sunny leaned against the wall and watched him walk away. “So strange,” she muttered, “Anabel isn’t one to attack...”
Jimmy entered his room in the hotel and sat down on the bed. The thought, “Anabel just tried to kill you,” sank into his head and he doubled in pain. “What in the world was wrong with her?” he thought. “Could she have somehow discovered his secret? No, that was impossible,” he decided. A small noise in the corner of the room caught his attention and he turned around.
“Didn’t think that I would give up this easily did you?” Anabel asked as she walked out into the light. “Don’t worry, no matter what, you will die tonight.”
“What are you talking about?” Jimmy asked. “Last time, if I remember correctly, you failed so what makes you think that you can actually succeed in killing me this time?”
“The first attempt was murder. The second will look like suicide,” at Jimmy’s puzzled look she rolled her eyes, “Don’t act dumb, I saw you talking to Sunny on the street. If I was to make a wild guess, it would be that you just told her the wedding was off. It would look like you killed yourself in your grief. See, simple.” As she finished speaking, Anabel drew out a second gun, “Quite resourceful aren’t I?” she said with a smile.
Jimmy and Anabel stared at each other in silence. Anabel’s finger started to press down on the trigger when a knock sounded at the door. Both of them stared at the door in silence until Jimmy walked over and opened it. Sunny stood outside, with a determined glare that faded as she saw Anabel pocket something in her coat. “Have I interrupted something?” she asked Jimmy who silently led her inside.
Once the door was securely closed and locked, Anabel pulled her gun out again, “Even better, a scandal at that,” Sunny looked a bit nervous. Anabel seeing Sunny’s expression laughed, “Oh don’t worry Sunny, you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, unfortunately, I’ll have to kill you too.”
“What?” Sunny frowned, “Anabel, why are you trying to kill Mr. Spencer?” she asked softly.
“He lied to me,” Anabel replied bluntly. “He’s a criminal, not some shoe-store owner.
“But he did it to save your niece,” Sunny pointed out.
“Like I care,” Anabel snapped, “Now stop talking, who wants to go first?” Jimmy stepped in front of Sunny, “Ah, such a gentleman,” Anabel sneered.
Sunny slipped behind Jimmy’s larger frame and pressed 9-1-1 on her cell inside her pocket. Hearing the dial tone ring for a few minutes and the voice, she tilted the speaker towards Jimmy and Anabel, catching a few words, “Stand still, it won’t hurt…,” before shutting it off. Anabel pulled on the trigger fast this time, but Jimmy was faster, ducking a few milliseconds before the bullet would have hit him and pulled Sunny down on the floor.
Anabel stared at them in anger, the fact that she had failed to shoot Jimmy made her erupt. She began firing bullets everywhere, but at the huddled couple in front of her. When the gun began lowering toward the floor, the front door flew open and a group of officers rushed into the scene. Anabel howled in denial as they handcuffed her and led her away.
A few minutes later, Mr. Adams arrived and spoke rapidly with an officer before turning towards where Jimmy stood with Sunny. “I am so sorry Ralph, I have no idea what happened.”
Jimmy hugged Sunny tighter, “Actually sir, it’s Jimmy Valentine.” Mr. Adams frowned, but shook Jimmy’s outstretched hand before walking back to the police. “You’re one brave reporter,” he said softly to the dark head.
“Just promise me, that you won’t ever lie to anyone again. Elmore is a pretty accepting place; they’ll love you no matter what.”
“I promise,” Jimmy said smiling, looking deep into her eyes and heart.
“Good,” Sunny replied as she stared into the eyes of the criminal man, she had just come to love with a simple promise.
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