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A Heartless Heart

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PROLOGUE

Juliana Valdes knew that what she was about to do would be like a suicide mission. If people - or worst-case scenario, she, were to recognize her, Juliana knew that that would be it for her. She may or may not come out of this place alive or unscathed. Would it be worth it? Maybe. But dammit she needed to know. She needed to understand. She needed answers.

"Are you a family of the deceased?" A voice said and it frightened Juliana so bad causing her to jump a few inches from the ground. Turning around, she relaxed a little as she came face to face with an old man. In his hand was a shovel and he wasn't exactly dressed for the occasion so she automatically assumed he wasn't part of the crowd she had been eyeing for a while now.

"Uh, y-yes. Something like that." Juliana responded with a forced smile.

"Well, aren't you moving closer? Maybe offer your last respects or something? They're going to lower the casket soon." He indicated, making sure to point the shovel in his hands and Juliana quickly shook her head.

"Maybe later." Yeah, maybe not. She knew that if she wanted to see him for the last time then she needed to move now. More and more people were gathering and this will probably be the only chance she'll have to get close without being undetected. Or at least that's what she hoped.

"You know what? Maybe I should just go do that now. Thanks." Juliana said and without waiting for a reply, she hastily made her way towards the crowd.

***

Seeing him in a coffin, to sum it up, was weird. All around her people were weeping, crying, throwing flowers, mourning.

Oddly enough, all Juliana could feel was rage.

Hot, simmering, boiling rage.

Was this normal? Shouldn't she feel bad? Shouldn't she grieve?

After all, he had been her boyfriend for the past eight months. He had been the one to help her survive, cope. He had protected her from her father, had saved her from her mother. He was there when she had no one else to turn to. At one point in her life, she could admit that he was all she had.

So why? Shouldn't she be sad at least?

"Hey." Juliana called softly once near but her calm demeanor quickly disappeared once she got a view of him.

Huh.

He actually looked at peace. Content.

One could even say he looked happy.

Juliana chuckled in disbelief as she shook her head.

Lucho you fucking piece of shit. She wanted to scream. Make a scene. Even in death! Even in death you-

"I hope you fucking rot in hell." She couldn't help but mumble through gritted teeth, tears now slowly burning her eyes.

Would it be a sin to say that she was glad? Glad that this will be the very last time she'll see him. Glad that he will no longer be a part of her life. And certainly glad to finally be free of him.

"I can't believe you actually had the audacity to show yourself here." A woman's voice hissed from behind her. It wasn't spoken out loud but it was enough to startle Juliana that she quickly turned around, nearly bumping his coffin in the process.

Juliana's eyes widened in horror, her entire body seizing with fear. "Val- Valentina?" She squeaked.

Shit.

Juliana couldn't be mistaken. She'd seen this woman a few times from newspapers and magazine clips. Hell, she'd seen her pictures in Lucho's wallet at one point.

This woman is no other than Valentina Carvajal.

Lucho's wife.