Chapter One –Part Three–

Wilson, Elliot's bodyguard, opened the passenger door for them. She entered first before her best friend.

Apparently, Will was supposed to be a 'gift'. Except that Elliot couldn't help but think of him as a baggage rather than a guardian. He appeared nearly two years ago, after her father had insisted that she should have one, because of the following threats of assassination in the industry. It was like a shooting target suddenly emerged from her back. The thought of having someone give up his or her life for her made shivers run down her spine.

Elisa's incident came to mind.

If the same thing happens to me, Elliot's eyes flickered to Will, would he end up just like mom?

Before an answer could pop in her curious little mind, she dismissed the thought and gazed out of the tinted windows instead. With her thoughts hushed in her head, the drive towards the academy was quiet against the soft opera that enveloped the car. Though the singer wasn't English, her melodic tone was sorrowful.

Somehow it made Elliot's chest tighten and her shoulders heavy. How is it that everyone was still in mourning?

"Ellie," Clark sang, playfully poking her elbow. "You all right?"

Elliot gave him a small smile. "Yeah, just trying to... you know..." she waved a hand in the air.

He returned her smile. "Tell me, when you feel like it." He took her hand in his and squeezed it. "I'm here for you."

"Thanks."

"Anytime."

Sometimes it felt unfair for him to wait for her to say the things he wanted to hear when most times it was Ellie who kept on pushing words out of his mouth. Though he never complained about her attitude, it still felt wrong––mainly in these kinds of situations.

Clark let her hand fall on her lap when they finally descended in front of the familiar building of The Academy of the Arts.

The sight of the clear stairway made Elliot slightly relieved. The fact that the press didn't dare try and get answers from her made things a bit easier than it had last week. At that time, she was so thankful for having Will by her side. The press couldn't quite leave her alone.

Maybe it's because I never answered their questions? She thought and frowned.

Nonetheless, she took a deep breath and allowed Clark to usher her out of the car.

Will gave both of them a small smile, before closing the door behind them.

He wore a black blazer over a white undershirt with dark pants and black shoes. His blonde hair was cut short and his face was clear from any facials. It was protocol. He looked calm and collected, though it was clear through his jade green eyes that he was on high alert.

"Enjoy your day, miss Rosenfield."

She nodded. "Thank you, Will."

Only then did the car leave when both students were already safe inside the walls of the academy.

The moment they entered the building, Elliot held her head high and tried her best to keep vulnerability invisible from her eyes. She had to be strong. She couldn't let herself break like the last time she went to school. She wouldn't bare another sympathizing gaze if her façade shatters.

Clark, who stood beside her, added as a reassurance.

And as if fate had seen her struggle, another anchor came to hook her unto the ground.

The End

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