Delia jumped up and ran before Fran could see her or notice Rylie was sitting with her, although Delia was sure she already knew.
Delia didn't go straight to the restroom though. She hid inside a reserved part of the café noone was allowed to enter. If you hid correctly, from where Delia and Rylie sat, Delia couldn't be seen, but could easily spot Rylie and the now arriving Fran. She was a spectator to an unknown sport. Delia needed popcorn for this, more so because she hoped Rylie would let Fran have it. I'm so wrong for that, Delia thought and shook her head.
What Delia saw next would shake her to her very core.
Fran walked straight to the booth where Rylie was, and when Rylie noticed someone approaching, he sorta tilted his face, smiling as bright and all, and look in Fran's general direction. Before her and his eyes could even meet, Franscetta Mortin delivered a slap across Rylie's face so loud and so hard, like a hot iron hitting a person's index finger, Rylie's face snapped to the left and back into place quicker than one could visibly imagine. Witnessing that and seeing Rylie's beautiful face marred in any such way made Delia's blood boil hot. She stayed put temporarily but had to hold onto the leather cushion to keep herself in control.
Rylie's smile was gone, and you could easily see just how dazed he was, before he attempted to look in Franscetta's direction.
He didn't have time to gather his bearings before Franscetta raised her other hand to deliver a second slap across the opposite cheek. Delia had had it.
Delia raced across the café floor just behind Franscetta's second slap, after it connected to Rylie's unsuspecting cheek.
Delia didn't even see Rylie. She took a hand full of Franscetta's ruby red hair and she jerked it with all of her might. She jerked Franscetta clear off her feet and Franscetta landed on her back onto the café ridden floor. Delia did not let go of Franscetta's hair. She went from having jerked her by the head to dragging her away from Rylie, walking backwards.
"How does it feel to attack someone unexpectedly Franscetta?! Huh! Huh!" Delia yelled. When she finished, she dropped Franscetta's head to the floor and heard as it thumped against the hardwood.
Delia raced over to Rylie. He was just coming to his senses. He hadn't witnessed what Delia had done, was too busy seeing to his face and coming out of the daze Franscetta had put him in. He didn't even know who it was that slapped him.
"Baby, are you ok?" Delia was all in his face.
Rylie looked at Delia and smiled weakly. "Yes baby I am."
Delia kissed Rylie's eyes and his nose and ran her lips over his cheeks. Tears were streaming down her eyes and mixing in with her kisses, as if to heal Rylie's now red and flushed cheeks.
Rylie held Delia close to him and she sobbed, her face and his touching as hard as two lovers could when kissing passionately.
Because Delia was seeing to Rylie and doing her best to see to his needs, she did not notice that Franscetta had gotten back up and had grabbed ahold of a sharp knife.
She did not notice until it was driven hard into her lower back, where she felt the worst pain ever in her life. She literally jerked back to the side and fell to the floor in a snap.
As she did so, Rylie finally saw Franscetta. With her he also saw the bloodied ridden knife in her hand.
She stabbed Delia, he thought. Why? No time for questions, Rylie jumped up onto his feet in half a hot second and he did a crane kick Danny LaRusso from the Karate Kid 1, 2, and 3 was famous for and connected it to Franscetta's lower chin. In half a hot flash Franscetta went flying across the air onto her back and was immediately out cold. The knife went flying to the right out of sight.
Rylie returned to Delia's side on the floor and cried bloody murder as he cradled her in his arms and screamed for someone to call 911. Noises and commotion could be heard in all directions.
It had been two days since Delia returned to her dorms from Riley's apartment. In four more days her stitches would be out. Delia had set about doing her duty as a student to her university by doing everything she could to start catching up with work she missed. She had been gone for three weeks.
The semester would be over in another month. Delia counted all her classes and reviewed material she missed and concluded she could manage to make it out with passing grades. It wasn't under her radar to accept mere passing grades, but in light of the circumstances and despite them, her grade point average wouldn't take a tremendous hit. For that she was happy about.
She had a study partner. Annabelle. In fact, because of how busy she was with all of her work, Delia didn't have time to think about Rylie or Franscetta stalking her. She concluded that Franscetta had a mental issue she could sort out with a shrink, because according to her, Franscetta was having separation anxiety issues from Rylie, and that was none of Delia's business. Delia also had no desire whatsoever to return to Rylie because he paid very little regard concerning her safety when she asked him to take more consideration.
Delia cared about herself to. She wasn't too happy about being stabbed. She also hated how Rylie was a target from a group of criminals as dangerous as the mob itself. She seriously did not know if she wanted to be apart of that.
Delia returned to work the third day of leaving Rylie's apartment. She was happy to have something to do when she wasn't studying, and as a matter of fact, since all she did at work was sit at a desk and greet people as they came in and keyed in their appointment times and answered basic office questions, she had a lot of spare time to study. She started taking her textbooks to work and doing make-up assignments when the office had no appointments to meet. Delia also had an hour lunch, and she stayed in the office and studied or completed another missing assignment. She looked back several times on her progress and realized she was doing great. Slowly but assuredly catching up with her work.