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Over the past week, Eadie relished the quality time she got to spend with Adam. From that night on the rooftop, overlooking the Budapest skyline, to lazy mornings with legs tangled in soft linen sheets. It was all simply too perfect for words. She’d always known there was something special between them, but with him constantly darting in and out of Morocco, there was never any time to get to know each other. Now, in the heat of the Hungarian summer, time was all they had.
They relayed the chapters of their lives to each other, whilst red wine stained their lips. Eadie spoke of leaving home on her eighteenth birthday, venturing across the seas to find a place where her heart felt full. Adam talked of his brother, and how he wished he could spent more time with him. Love began to grow with every detail and secret Adam relinquished to her. As much as they connected, she could tell Adam still kept his guard up. No matter how much she tried to show that he could trust her, there was an unspoken distance that she hoped would close over time. Until one afternoon, when Eadie was putting the finishing touches on her look for the evening, there was a menacing knock on the door.
‘Police! Open up!’ A stern voice yelled, followed by more knocks.
‘Adam…’ Eadie said, fear apparent on her face. The man she came to love ran his fingers through his hair, pulling at his scalp and cursing under his breath. When their eyes met, for a second, Eadie didn’t recognise him. There was a darkness underpinning his gaze that she’d not seen before. She moved to the door, but Adam was faster, taking hold of her wrist and covering her mouth with his hand. Hands that only an hour ago caressed her face gently. Hot tears began to slide down her cheek. It was only when the officers started to break down the door did Adam move. He ran to their bedroom, frantically shoving belongings into a bag. But his effort was in vain. With a crack the door gave way, and police streamed in.
‘Stephan Mable,’ one officer spoke, ‘you’re under arrest for fraud and theft. You have the right to remain silent…’ He continued reading the rights, but Eadie failed to hear much else, for she was to focused on the handcuffs restraining the man she loved.
‘Adam,’ she yelled, ‘what are they talking about? Who's Stephan?!’ Panic started to set in as she begged him for answers.
‘I think it’s best you come with us too miss.’ She let herself be led out by the man, with tears blurring her vision.
The scent of disinfectant was all Eadie could smell in the cramped police station. Paint flaked from the walls, and people spoke in languages she couldn’t comprehend. Occasionally, they glanced at her with suspicion. She was yet to find out why she was here, but one thing was certain. It had something to do with Adam. A woman sat down beside her.
‘We understand this is a lot to take in, but we need to know how you came in contact with Stephan- or Adam as you may know him.’ She spoke to Eadie with sympathy in her gaze.
‘I don’t…’ She started with a trembling voice, ‘who is he?’
‘He’s someone whose been wanted for a long time. Somewhat of a con-artist, preying on the young and wealthy. He’s scammed people out of millions this year alone.’ Eadie felt a cold settle over her heart. A con-artist. How had she not noticed the signs. And was Victoria his partner in all of this, or just another victim?
‘He mentioned something about his brother…is that any help?’ Eadie spoke to the officer, trying to show that she was trustworthy.
‘We caught his brother five years ago, he’s been in prison since.’ She replied. Adam – Stephan – spoke so fondly of a brother, and his desire to spend time with him. She assumed he lived in another country, not locked away behind bars. Her face fell into her hands. How had she strayed so far from her path?