I spent the whole week hanging out with Grayson as much as I could after school and during the weekend. Time flies when you don’t want it to, now I was watching Grayson pack the last of his things getting ready to leave for Colton Academy.
“I’ll be back during Christmas break, if you need me to come back I will.” Grayson said, his voice soft.
“I’m going to miss you.” I said, pulling him into a bear hug.
“Me too.” He sniffled.
“Don’t cry or you’ll make me cry.”
A soft knock sounded at our door and Grayson quickly let go and opened the door for his friend Ben, the boy who also got a scholarship. Since Ben and his parents were going to the Academy, the two boys planned to just go together and I wouldn’t have to drop him off.
“Hey Grayson, you ready?” He asked as he waved at me.
“Yup, I just got to say bye to my sister.” Grayson said, handing his bags to Ben.
“I’m so grateful I have a sister like you.” Grayson pulled me into another hug, “Thank you for everything you do for me, you’re the best sister anyone could ever ask for.” He choked out.
“What are older sisters for?” I laughed, tears rolled down my cheeks as I clung to my little brother.
“You better go, they’re waiting.” I said, wiping at my face and pulling away, “I opened you a bank account and put money in there for you, if you need more just let me know and I’ll put some in, I also put some cash into your wallet.“.
“I got you a present too.” I said, pulling out a small box.
“Didn’t have to get me a present Av.” He said, shaking his head.
“I know but I wanted to, open it.”
He opened and slipped out a silver chain, it was exactly like our fathers, it was plain but I knew it would look nothing but plain on Grayson.
“Is this Dads one? I thought it got lost in the wreckage.” He said, his eyes wide.
“I wish it was but I brought it from a small boutique.” I said sadly.
“Thanks Av, I love it.” He kissed my cheek before Ben came back to our door.
“I got to go, I’ll see you soon and I’ll text you as soon as I settle in.” He said pulling me into a last hug.
“I love you.” I whispered and pushed him out of the door.
“Love you sis.” He said, waving.
“Both of you enjoy school over there and be safe.” I said, waving.
“Bye Av.” They said in unison, turning and jumping into the waiting car in the driveway.
As soon as they were gone, I closed the door and the tears I held in as I said my final goodbye dripped down my face.
The rest of my Friday and Saturday was spent moping around the house, cleaning and listening to music all day. I’m currently on my way to talk to Maceo and Christopher, Kota has been receiving worrying text over the last couple of days and it’s been worrying me so I decided to go over there today and talk about the offer.
Pulling up into the driveway, I park and jump out and made my way up the stairs, pressing the doorbell.
“Hey Ava, come in.” Judy said, stepping to the side so I could enter.
“Hi Judy, how are you?” I asked, walking through to the entrance.
“I’m very good hun.” She smiled as Zade, Blaine and Silas came striding in from the family room.
Zade’s face lite up as soon as he saw me. Making his way over to me, he slips his hands around my waist, pulling me closer to his body.
I blushed but inhaled his scent, calming my nerves immediately, “Hey.“.
“Hi.” He chuckled at my antics, “Maceo and Chris are waiting for you, let’s go.“.
Zade laced his fingers through mine and I followed behind him, we’ve gotten closer over the week, he waits at my locker before our classes start and rotate between me and his group to sit with at lunchtime, even when he’s sitting with his friends, he’s always glancing my way.
Waving at the boys as we passed, they nod my way before following closely behind us.
“Good morning Ava.” Christopher smiles as we enter.
“Morning.” I wave at the both of them sitting in Maceo’s office.
“I’d like to discuss the offer.” I say, resting my hands in my lap.
“All we ask is that you be apart of our family, you and your brother, you fight when you want to and we provide you with anything you two want.” Maceo said as Christopher nodded agreeing.
“Okay.” I breathed, “My brother isn’t with me anymore.“.
“What do you mean?” They asked, worry on their faces.
“Where is he?” Silas asked, voicing the question everyone in the room wanted to know.
“He got offered a soccer scholarship two weeks ago, he left on Friday.” I sighed.
“You let him go because it’s safer there for him.” Maceo voiced my thoughts.
“Yes, Kota’s been receiving threatening texts in the past week.” I said, “His phones been blowing up since my last fight, no one in the underground knows my real name beside you guys, so they haven’t come looking for Ava Vice yet.“.
“You should move in here with us immediately, we can’t risk it.” Zade said, his voice strong, face frowning into a worried expression.
“No, I can look after myself.” I shook my head.
“Ava, no you should really move in, Zade is right, they’ll find out and soon.” Christopher said, his tone commanding.
“You’ll have your own room and bathroom, we can get your things moved here today.” Maceo said, his voice soft.
“Ava we know you can look after yourself, quite well actually but there are a lot of bad people after you.” Zade said, he’s pushing for me to understand and I do but I want to know about them too.
“Why do you fight underground? It seems you don’t need the money.” I said, gesturing to their house.
“We do business with very dangerous people, we keep an eye on certain things for these people and they pay us big sums of money.” Christopher spoke seriously.
I was grateful for the honesty but I also wasn’t.
“Can you not tell those very dangerous people to tell the other dangerous people to leave me alone?” I asked, hopeful.
“Though that could work the very dangerous people have an eye on you and want you to be apart of us as much as we do.” He replied.
Christopher was more serious and held more power in his voice then Maceo, it was easy to tell who ruled over the other though Christopher was also very respectful towards Maceo and treated him equally.
“You and your brother will be fully protected, we will have someone keep an eye on Grayson at all time.” Maceo said, placing his hands on his desk.
“Nothing you guys do will reflect on my brother?”
“No, I promise.” The two men said in unison.
“Okay.” I nodded.
“Okay? You’re agreeing to be apart of our family?” Maceo asked shooting up from his chair.
“Yes.” I whispered, my heart warming at his enthusiasm for me and Grayson to be apart of his family, “If it’s okay with everyone else that lives here.” I blushed.
“YAY, I’ve always wanted another sister.” Silas yelled, tackling me into a bear hug.
“I’m worried at how high-pitched your ‘yay’ was.” Zade said as he and Blaine’s laugher echoed throughout the room.
“I’m worried too.” I patted Silas’s back awkwardly.
“Whatever.” Silas said, standing upright and flicking everyone off.
“I’m glad you said yes.” Blaine said, his smile genuine.
“What about everyone else?” I asked cautiously.
“Everyone will be over the moon, Kenna would be a different story though.” Blaine replied.
“Don’t worry about her, she’ll get use to you.”
Christopher and Maceo talked amongst themselves quietly before turning back towards us.
“You and Grayson live alone correct?” Christopher asked.
“Yes, I fight underground to make us money so I can provide for us.” I whispered.
“Who has custody of you both?” Maceo asked.
“Our grandmother but she kicked us out.” I blushed in embarrassment.
“What kind of grandmother is that?” Maceo said, his voice angry.
“It’s okay, I took care of my brother and I.” I said softly, “I made sure we had everything to survive.“.
“You’re an amazing sister.” Christopher said, his tone laced with proudness.
“I try to be.”
They asked more questions regarding my life story and I told them everything there is to know, even about my parents. I trusted Maceo and Chris, I didn’t know why but I did.
“You move in today, the boys will help you with your personal things and the rest of the furniture and things can go to goodwill or something.” Maceo said.
“Actually, would I be able to keep the house? I haven’t told my brother anything and I’d like to keep the house for when he comes back for Christmas break, I’ll explain everything to him then but I just want things to be normal for him once he comes home before everything blows up.” I said worriedly.
“Of course, you’re a very smart and caring young lady, I’m overjoyed you said yes.” Maceo smiled.
Jeez, it’s like I said yes to a proposal. I thought.
“Since everything is settled, you and the six boys head over to your house and grab all your personal items.” Christopher nodded towards Zade and the other two.
“Come on.” Zade said, holding his hand out.
“Thank you.” I hugged Christopher and Maceo tightly before slipping my hand into Zade’s and walked out of the office.
“Are you okay with me moving in?” I asked Zade nervously.
“More than okay.” He whispered, his soft lips brushing along my ear.
“Ok-ay.” I stuttered out, blushing a deep red.
Zade chuckled down at me, his eyes gazing.
We pulled up into the driveway of my house, I sat in shotgun while Zade drove and Silas and Blaine sat in the back of the all-white Range Rover. The rest of the household were out at the beach so they had no idea I was moving in today, I felt uncomfortable that they didn’t know and didn’t have an input if it was okay for me to move in but Zade and the rest assured me it will be okay.
“You have a nice cozy house.” The boys commented as we entered.
“Thank you, make yourselves comfortable, there are drinks in the fridge.” I smiled, “I’ll only be 20 minutes tops.” I shot upstairs.
I packed all my clothes into suitcases, along with all my shoes and a small case of makeup.
“Hey, you need any help.” Zade asked, stepping into my small room.
“Actually, yes please.” I blushed, “Can you take those two suitcases down please.“.
“Of course.” He nodded and handled them.
I packed the photos of my parents and Grayson and slipped other little things in, my hair products, my toothbrush, my hair styling tools, my favorite blanket, some of mine and my father's trophies I loved so much and my mothers' jewelry box.
“Is that everything?” Zade asked taking the last suitcase out of my hands.
“Yes.” I said sadly, I was going to miss my room even though I only had it for a little while.
I miss my brother, I’ll have to ring him tonight and see how he is doing. I thought.
“Let’s get going.” Zade said, slipping his arm around my waist.