Storming towards the entrance, Vivian barely managed to stop her charge in time to avoid colliding with the person in front of her.
"Oh, just the person I was looking for." Carina smiled down at Vivian.
Vivian took a step back, eyes narrowing, "What do you mean by that?"
She had nothing but bad memories of Carina. Throughout college and after, she would persistently chase after Marcus even though he was already in a relationship. Later on, their deteriorating relationship caused Vivian to doubt whether or not she was actually a good fit for Marcus. However, this self doubt didn't stop her dislike of Carina for going after a married person.
"You know," she leaned closer and Vivian leaned away accordingly, "To thank you for letting Marcus free to date me."
"What makes you think that?" Marcus stepped up behind Vivian and tugged her away from Carina.
Vivian looked at him, confused,
He bent down next to her ear, "Just follow my lead, I'll explain later. Trust me on this. Please."
"Yeah, Vivian wrapped her arm around Marcus's waist, "What makes you think we broke it off in the first place." she ignored the dumbfounded looks of the other cafe patrons that were sneaking peeks at the drama.
"I—" Carina was thrown off, not expecting their reactions. "What? Everyone has been talking about how you two broke it off."
Marcus waved his hand dismissively, "It was a petty fight. We've made up now." he leaned over, kissing Vivian's cheek and faced Carina, "Does it look like we broke up?"
Vivian's face flushed and she pinched his waist, hard. She was disappointed when he only grimaced slightly and tugged her hand away before clasping it with his.
"I—I don't…" Carina stammered.
"Excuse me." Vivian pulled Marcus past the dumbstruck Carina to the exit, "Since this is all cleared up, we'll be on our way."
She dragged Marcus out the door and let go of his hand, pushing him down to a nearby bench. "Explain."
Marcus sighed, "I was going to deal with it myself but since it's come to this might as well." He looked at her, "Our deaths weren't an accident."
"I was looking into the person that killed you and then I found a connection to their family but before I could bring everything to light, they killed me too." Marcus sighed, "I was too confident."
Vivian sat down next to him, stunned. The urge to go back and stomp the s.h.i.t out of Carina was simmering under her skin.
The intent to murder must have shown on her face because Marcus grabbed her wrist, "No."
"But…" Vivian thought about it for a minute and realized that her death may have actually been a good thing. She deflated, "Fine. I won't."
"Anyways," Marcus let her go and stretched back on the bench. "Now I guess people will think we're back to dating."
"Ugh." Vivian groaned at the idea of having to clear up more misunderstandings. "You couldn't have come up with a better idea to get us out of that situation?"
Marcus sneered, "That b.i.t.c.h has been hounding me forever. I want her off my back before I destroy them."
"And how do you plan on that, genius?" Vivian leaned back and looked at him. They both knew full well how much power was behind Carina and her family. Having ownership of the top media company of the country was nothing to scoff at.
"Slowly. Just wait." Marcus tapped his head and grinned, "Time traveler remember?"
Vivian sat up warily, "Are you serious? After you blew up on me for telling Emma?"
"Don't worry, I know what I'm doing."
Vivian scoffed, "Overconfident much?" she glared at him, "You better not bring me into any of your grand schemes."
"Chill." Marcus flicked his hand, "I learned my lesson from before and I'm being super careful."
Vivian raised a brow but didn't offer any more complaints. Her mind was still churning over the information that she was murdered. Did Carina want Marcus so much she was willing to kill for it? That wouldn't make sense though because he ended up being killed by them too. "How do you know that Carina was the one behind your death?"
"The driver that hit me was the same one that got to you."
"Oh." she said, "Why would she kill you then? She had always wanted to marry you." Vivian rested her chin on her hand, "Did it have something to do with your company?"
"Pretty much." Marcus said, "I publicly turned her down in front of everyone so their last hope for merging with my company went down the drain. If you can't join em', kill em'."
"I don't think that's how the saying goes." Vivian said, "But that makes sense. So what's your plan?"
"Basically release damaging information and wait until someone pays me to take it down. Of course the damage will have already been done and I'll get money to treat my father's cancer. Two birds with one stone."
"That's so dangerous." Vivian said. "What are you going to do if you're caught?"
"Uh, haven't really thought that far." he shrugged, "Run?"
Vivian clapped her hand to her forehead. He was still being overconfident. "What if I sell the information that you're the one behind everything to your victims?"
"You're not that type of person." Marcus said simply.
"Trust me that much?"
"Who would I trust if not my wif—girlfr—ex-girlfriend?" he finished weakly.
Vivian laughed. Her phone buzzed angrily in her bag and she pulled it out, throwing an apologetic glance at Marcus, "It's Emma. Do you mind?"
"No, go ahead."
Vivian walked a bit away before picking up, "Hel—"
"b.i.t.c.h, YOU HAVEN'T ANSWERED ANY OF MY TEXT MESSAGES. WHY HAVE I GOTTEN SO MANY PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU AND MARCUS ARE TOGETHER AGAIN?" she paused to breathe.
"It's not what it looked like, okay? There was a reason for it and I'll explain everything later." Vivian unlocked her screen, seeing thirty two unread messages. "And I didn't reply because my phone was in my bag and I was still talking to Marcus."
Emma sighed audibly, "Vivi, be a dear and hand the phone to Marcus will you?"
Vivian walked back to the bench and held out the phone to Marcus, "Emma wants to chat."
He took the phone warily and Vivian stepped away to give them some privacy. She could feel a headache forming thinking about trying to explain away their convoluted relationship.
Faintly, she could hear Marcus arguing animatedly into the phone, gesturing forcefully. She wondered what they could possibly be talking about but she would wait and dig out answers from both of them.
Despite it being nearly four, the summer sun was still up full force, bringing blazing heat down onto Vivian. She fanned herself with her hand and looked around for a nearby tree for shade. When she stepped under, the temperature cooled considerably and she relaxed. Sitting under the shade, she watched Marcus, who was now pacing, listening to whatever Emma was speaking about.
Feeling a little left out , Vivian picked up a twig and spun it around in her hand, eyeing Marcus. She doubted whether not not the stick would fly that far but before she could rethink, her arm hurled the twig in his direction.
It bounced off his head and he stopped talking, looking up and patting his head. He couldn't find any trees above him and he spun around. Marcus's eyes landed on Vivian who looked away quickly.
She wasn't sure how to feel about Marcus now. Vivian was quite content with forgetting about his existence for as long as she lived but it's hard to forget someone you were also bent on despising.
Her heart skipped a beat when he squinted over at her and smiled, before hurtling the stick back in her direction.
Vivian ducked but the stick got ensnared in her dark hair. Her face wrinkled in pain when she tried to pull out the twig. Feeling around for it, she finally detangled it and dropped her arms.
Marcus was walking towards her, face filled with concern. She waved the stick at him and his shoulders relaxed.
Seeing him now, in his youth, Vivian was always reminded of their better times together. And she couldn't bring herself to hate him as much as she should. She scowled, toeing the ground in front of her.
Why did everything have to be so complicated now? Vivian had just wanted to use this chance to live for herself. She leaned back on her hands and tilted her head skyward. Well, it wasn't like anyone was out to stop her from doing that. But she did want to get revenge on Carina for killing her last time. If she hadn't somehow time traveled, she would have been dead. Looking over at Marcus, who was sitting on the bench, head bent over, Vivian supposed that she could put up with him for a bit.
She closed her eyes and basked in the sunbeams that streamed through the leaves. Vivian was starting to doze off, when a shadow obscured the sunny warmth from her face. Her eyes cracked open and she saw a face smiling curiously down at her.