What the hell! The Voice. The voice was from inside the painting? Did he just use her name? Did he just call her out with her name? Throw out? What?
“I know I am imagining that you can hear me. Trust me, but it makes my life inside this frame a little better. To imagine that you know I am not a mere painting. That you can hear me and talk to me. That you are the only link that connects me to the real life.”
Scarlett gulped down the hot coffee just to confirm that she was still awake. She really needed the caffeine.
“Sophia says she can hear me. She thinks I have not changed. She thinks it is just my guilt. She says it is not you who will save my life. She said a lot of things.”
Scarlett forgot what was real and what was not. All her assumptions… Was it just two minutes ago that she gave up her doubts about the moving painting? This was so much more than a moving painting. She didn’t dare make a sound. Who is Sophia? She can hear him as well? Neighbor? Where is she?
Scarlett scrambled on to the bed and leaned back on the bedpost, staring at the painting, not even daring to breathe a word. He does not know that she can hear him. Should she talk back to him? Maybe, not yet.
“Why are you sitting like that? Not going to the office? Aren’t you hungry? Are you scared that somebody is still lurking in the house? Oh, Scarlett, there is nobody here. Am I not hanging in here, day in and day out? Nobody came. You are safe.”
Scarlett’s thoughts were anywhere but at the office. Who was this guy? Why was he stuck in the painting? Why the hell was he talking? How long has he been like this? Oh Lord…
“I want to get out of this frame Scarlett. Luck is not in my favor. I have to make it on my own and I have no idea how to go about that. There is a life a need to get back to. My parents, my world and friends, my work and business… I want my life back. And not only because I love you or I want you… but also because of a million other things…
Scarlett shut her eyes tightly, totally unable to believe anything that was happening. “He loves me? Wants me?”
“I want to get out because I am not, any longer, what I was once. There is so much to do. Nobody might believe me. Sophia says its guilt. But it is not. Will you believe me Scarlett? It is not guilt. Maybe it began as guilt but I have thought so much and understood so much. I have changed; I have shed my horns and blades that could kill. I want to live as if there is a heart inside me. Is this too much to ask? Even after more than five years?
“Sophia says my parents miss me. Do you know how much I miss them? Chase Holdings is too big company. I was the devil then and I teamed with too many devils, all like me. My father cannot handle them. There are some ruthless wolves in there. Hell, even I am not sure I could have managed them. I wonder what they are doing to my father.”
Holly Hell. Was this Tristan Chase of Chase Holdings inside the frame? The one who disappeared from the face of the earth? The one Kelly was talking about? The Real Tristan Chase? And she had given him the same name. This was getting more and more bizarre. Scarlett got up from the bed and searched the book rack. Where was that newspaper? Did she throw it away? There was a picture of Tristan in that.
“What happened? What are you searching? Are you really searching for an intruder again?”
Why was she searching for the newspaper when Google was there? Scarlett bit her lips so that she wouldn’t talk aloud. She didn’t want him to know that she could hear him. Not until she got to the bottom of all this mess. She typed in the name and was surprised to see the search results.
Oh Boy… Wow…!