The language was still a mystery to him.
School classes specializing in Italian and a week and a half in Trieste had done him well thus far, but not enough to be mistaken for a native.
However, Gabe Johnson knew enough of the announcement over the intercom to know that the train from Venice was only a stop away from his destination in Trieste.
He would have missed it too, if he hadn’t taken a moment to listen to the announcement.
The nineteen-year-old young woman from Somalia who happened to be his neighbor and classmate—Hannah Aden was her name—almost caused him to miss his stop altogether.
As beautiful as she was, it was her intellect that roused him and kept his attention.
The train took three hours and the two of them talked about everything from politics to world affairs, both past and present, during the entire ride.
Her every opinion was backed up by hard evidence and explanations that could turn the heart of even the most hardnosed human being.
She was a genius’ joy to watch in class.
“I believe this our stop,” she said with a smile.
Gabriel looked up and hadn’t realized that the train stopped moving.
In the midst of the crowd, they left the train, the station, then parted ways, strolling toward the Comune di Trieste, continuing on with their day.
He was only two feet away before he turned around to find her still walking.
“Wait!” Gabriel called, going to her.
Hannah whirled around, dark hair blowing in the wind.
“Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?”
“Sure. Pick me up at seven.”
Her smiling eyes stared up at him then moved higher.
Those brown pools of happiness turned to fear and shock.
Gabriel followed her eyes to the hotel behind them.
On the top floor stood a pair of white feet on the window’s ledge; the owner of them a woman in a flowing white dress.
Her red hair caught in the fierce wind.
Neither of them could see her face, but her agony was palpable as one foot slowly moved in front of the other until the ledge was no longer under her…