Chapter 4: A LONG NIGHT (4)
The taxi driver returned with a plastic bag which contained the clothes. And, immediately knocked on the car window to attract the attention of the female passenger who seemed to be pondering over something that she didn't realize that she had been sitting there for a while, staring into nothingness.
The driver immediately unlocked the car and Hailee rolled down the window and received the bag.
"These are t-shirts and pants you have asked for," said the driver, then he added, "there is hat also."
"Thanks," Hailee said vaguely.
Fortunately, the windshields of the car were opaque enough for someone just passing by to look what was happening inside, but just in case, the driver turned around and leaned right against the window, covering Hailee who was busy with changing her clothes in the car.
After finishing changing and securing Roland's expensive watch and two rings into the pocket of her slightly loose jeans, Hailee tapped on the glass, indicating for the taxi driver to step aside so she could get out.
The driver stepped aside and stood beside the open door, saw the pale looking girl getting off the passenger seat with a face that looked like a ghost under the headlights, there was a trace of pity, who knew what kind of night this young girl had experienced.
"Thank you, sir," said Hailee intending to leave, not wanting to linger there any longer. She was afraid that Roland's men would notice that she wasn't there and immediately start a search to catch her.
Although, it was actually almost impossible for them to move that fast, seeing Roland's lifeless condition now, no one could mobilize them for a while.
"You're welcome," the driver nodded, and said sincerely. "Be careful, though."
Hailee didn't answer and just nodded, offering a faint smile she continued to walk in haste toward the busy shopping center.
She entered the less open streets along the Long Isle Street while lowering her hat, afraid that someone might recognize her there, even though it was only her paranoia.
After passing several shops and getting questionable glances from some of the youths there, Hailee took the path to the left, toward a dark turn where some of the streetlights had gone out.
She knew this place well, because Ian had invited her here several times.
Ian, his best friend.
The only person Hailee trusts after Aileen unmasked her hypocrisy and revealed her true nature.
Her own sister whom Hailee thought of as her real sister had betrayed her trust and it never crossed her mind that she could do this to her. Not even in her wildest dreams.
The more Hailee walked into the dark alley, the more boisterous voices in the distance became, as if a very busy crowd had gathered there.
On one hand, Hailee was relieved that she found the right path, but on the other hand, this was the first time Hailee had come to this place alone without Ian.
As usual, there will always be security guards who look super fierce as if they were cannibals who would swallow you whole when you talk wrong and people like that are what Hailee has to deal with right now before she could enter the arena.
"Where are you going?" one of the burly men stopped Hailee in her tracks. The man had a thick neck and was wearing clothes that looked very tight, and clung to his body as if accentuating the hideous muscles under the lining.
Hailee lifted her hat and showed her face, she knew this man, his name was Robert. Ian had previously told about him and it was always Robert, who was on guard whenever Hailee came. However, Hailee was not sure whether Robert could still recognize her, as it had been almost a year since she was last here.
"Into the arena," Hailee replied swiftly. There was no trembling in her voice and Hailee was grateful for that.
Robert raised an eyebrow, staring Hailee up and down with a probing gaze before he glances at his friend beside him.
Hailee doesn't know this second man, he seemed like a new person. But, his black eyes stared back intently as he did a ones over on Hailee's appearance.
An oversized black shirt with jeans rolled up at her ankles, it was clear that the clothes were actually larger for Hailee's petite frame by a size of one or two. Apart from the dull blue baseball cap that Hailee was wearing, the other item she was carrying was a jacket, the same jacket she wore moments ago while escaping the triad.
If possible, Hailee would also sell this leather jacket to make some extra money.
"To meet who?" asked the new man. He was a little thinner than Robert, but a few inches taller than him.
"Ian Schamber," Hailee replied straightforwardly, "or better known as the executioner."
The executioner is Ian's stage name at Arena, the name of the place Hailee wanted to enter now.
The two of them stared at each other with slightly frowned foreheads. "He didn't say anything about any visiting guests."
"I don't have an appointment with him," Hailee said through clenched teeth. She really didn't have time for this.
"Then go away," expelled the other security.
Feeling that her patience was running out and the annoyance was running high on her head, Hailee took off her baseball cap in a huff, messing up her hair, but at the same time giving her brown eyes a fierce effect, as if she was ready to pounce on the two big men in front of her, even though her small body did not convince herself to do so.
"Listen, Robert." Hailee turned her fierce gaze toward Robert, she could see there was a spark of surprise in his expression. "I've been to this place several times with Ian Schamber. I can recognize you. "Hailee glared at him. "My relationship with Ian is quite close, so if a serious matter that he should immediately find out about becomes obstructed because of you, you know very well what his character is, right?"
Hailee's voice was neither high nor loud, but it was enough for the two of them to take it seriously.
Once again, they looked at each other, as if communicating what they should do next.
For everyone else, they must have drive Hailee away, but it was her connection to Ian that made them hesitant to do so.
"Tell Ian that Hailee came to see him and if he wants to talk, I'll be waiting for him here." Since there was no solution and several people had come and gone from inside the mansion that was located at the corner of this alley, while giving Hailee a strange look and a few intimate winks with wild eyes like Roland's, Hailee felt uncomfortable and immediately wanted to meet Ian.
As soon as possible!
"Wait here," grumbled the tall man as he entered the house.