Four days had grinded by since Stella saw Roman and everyday was a little worse than the last. Memories of her past lives tormented her. Stella as a brown-haired girl in a Victorian gown, then a stooped old woman with hair the color of steel or a curly-headed flapper in a beaded dress downing watered whiskey in a Chicago nightclub, in the middle of the night these images came to her. Different women, different periods, all with one constant … Roman. In the background, beside her, lifting her up, standing behind her, holding her hand, Roman was there. Always.
Hungry for his presence, she second-guessed every decision she’d made and regretted some of the harsh, hasty words she said. Regretted the day she met him, but prayed for his safety every night.
Was he still in jail? He couldn’t be. Wealthy men didn’t stay in jail and if he wasn’t in jail, why hadn’t he come for her? That was an easy question to answer. With Daniel dead, she no longer needed a bodyguard. With a fiancée on his arm, he no longer needed her.
She should be glad it was over. And she was. Her life would return to normal. Yeah, normal. Pre-Roman normal. She refused to question whether that was a life at all.
“Stella! Stop dragging your ass and pick up.” Joe slapped a plate down in the window and rang the bell. Whether he took pity on her or he wanted to cash in on her infamy, Joe rehired her when she walked into the diner and asked for her old job back. Before the attack, her daily schedule didn’t cause her to fall asleep dead to the world. Now, after two days of work, she wanted nothing more than to sleep and never wake up. If she could do that, maybe her misery would be over.