“I can’t imagine the hurt and the heartache you’re carrying. I’m sorry I failed you as a Grandfather but I’m also sorry for failing your parents. You shouldn’t have gone through everything you had and I know I have no right to be proud of the person you’ve become but I am every bit of proud. Your parents raised a strong and beautiful young lady and I’m more then sure they did the same with your brother. If you’d let me, I’d gladly wear the hurt for you and be apart of yours and Grayson’s life.” Vice said softly, different emotions running through his eyes.
Everything he said hit me hard; it’s everything I wasn’t expecting but everything I wanted to hear. Zade’s finger pushed my chin up so I could stare up into his grey pools and wiped the tears that fell, his face with a pained expression and his eyes pleaded with me to stop crying.
Vice held his arms out to me with sadness etched onto his face so I slowly made my way towards him and stepped into his arms, he sighed with heavy relief and kissed the top of my head.
“How am I supposed to top your speech?” Fane glared at Vice.
“It’s not a competition.” Vice snapped.
“Everything he said, I’d love to be apart of yours and Grayson’s life.” Fane smiled warmly, ignoring Vice. “That’s if you’ll let me of course.”
“No one interferes with my brother, he’s happy where he is and he’ll meet you when he’s ready, are we clear?” I spoke sternly, leaving no room for anyone to argue with me.
“Crystal.” Vice and Fane nodded with their hands up in surrender.
“Good.” I moved back towards Zade.
“Who might you be?” Vice stared at Zade curiously.
“This is my boyfriend Zade.” I said, gesturing between the two.
Zade smirked down at me; he likes me introducing him as my boyfriend.
Cue the eye roll. I thought playfully.
“Treating her well I hope.” Vice said firmly.
“Better then you did.” Zade shook his hand.
I’m definitely yours. I thought, staring up at Zade with a smirk.
“I like him.” Vice turned to me with an approving smile. “He’s got some guts.”
Zade didn’t change his facial expression; he remained with his jaw locked and his posture taut.
“Would you two like to meet everyone else?” Fane asked.
“Sure.” I nodded, staring up at Zade.
He finally smiled and my nerves calmed almost immediately.
“Your Grandmother you’ve already met Lucia the last time you were here and this is your aunt Aviana and the other hiding in the corner is Vania.” Fane gestured to the three women.
“Hi, nice seeing you guys again.” I nodded towards Lucia and Aviana.
“I’m so glad you came back, nice to meet you Zade.” Aviana said with a bright smile, she was the definition of pretty. Bright blue eyes and straight blonde hair, she looked like mum so much.
“Oh yeah.” I smiled, not knowing what to say, Zade nodded in reply.
“Sorry about Vania, her mouth gets the better of her.” Aviana whispered between the two of us.
“I’m so happy you’re going to give us a chance.” Lucia sniffled, cutting me off before I could reply to Aviana
“These are your Uncles, Dain, Cev, and Decebal.” Fane introduced three men.
“Hi, I’m sorry I yelled at you last time you were here.” Dain said softly. “I didn’t mean to.”
“That’s okay, I’m sorry I yelled too I suppose. My parents taught me better.” I smiled sadly.
“You don’t need to be sorry.” Dain moved forward and wrapped his arms around my shoulders.
“Hey, it’s nice to finally meet you properly.” Cev stepped forward and smiled warmly.
“You too.” I returned his smile.
“Good to see you again Ava, Zade.” Decebal smiled at the both of us.
“How do you do?” I teased using the posh tone he had used at The Pit.
“Are you teasing me?” Decebal stared down at me with amusement.
I shrugged playfully and laughed at the grin that stretched across his face. Decebal looked like the youngest, he doesn’t look to be any older than 25.
“These are some of your cousins but we won't introduce them, we don’t want to overwhelm you.” Fane gestured to the teenagers on his side of the family.
I waved at them with a small smile, I felt bad that Fane skipped them like that but he was right in a sense. There were too many of them and I had my father’s side to go still.
“This is my wife Mariana.” Vice smiled down at me and gestured to a beautiful woman, her brown hair flowing down to her hips, her face covered in laugh lines with bright eyes filled with unshed tears.
“Hi.” I pulled her into a quick hug.
“You look just like my Hayze.” She wiped the tears from her eyes.
I smiled in reply as Vice led me over to the others.
“These are your father’s siblings, May, Nicholas, and Julius.” He gestured to a woman and two men.
The whole three of them rushed towards me at the same time but May pushed her brothers out of the way and pulled me into her, she sobbed as she held onto me.
“I’m so sorry.” She cried into my shoulder, her tears falling onto my exposed skin.
I cringed mentally at the wet liquid that slowly dripped down my shoulder but comforted her none the less by patting her back.
“Nice to meet you. Hayze taught you well, he was a great fighter, I could never get a punch in with him.” Nicholas smiled, his eyes glazed as if watching a memory play in his head.
“You too, makes two of us.” I laughed.
“Hola.” Julius greeted sadly, pulling me into his tall frame.
“Dad, Carter just landed. He’ll be here in an hour or so.” May said, tapping away at her phone.
“I thought he wasn’t coming until tomorrow.” Vice called back with a puzzled expression.
“I guess he couldn’t wait.” May shrugged.
Julius kissed my cheek and finally let me go after saying a couple of words in Spanish. I stared at him silently asking for a translation but he only grinned in reply.
“These are our daughters and sons, don’t worry about them. There’s too many for you to remember but I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time to get to know them all.” Nicholas joked, gesturing to the teenagers sitting and standing around behind them.
“Hey.” I smiled.
Some waved and the others called out words in Spanish I didn’t understand but they all looked somewhat happy to meet me.
“Pleasure meeting you.” Nicholas and Julius shook Zade’s hand.
“Sure, you too.” Zade replied with a slight smile.
We all talked for a little while, questions were thrown my way left, right and center, the majority of them from the teenagers in the room on both sides of the families. I sat in a love seat with Zade to my side, some of the girls or should I say my cousins boldly stared Zade up and down every time he moved his toned arms or smiled, licking their lips or batting their eyelashes his way but he remained oblivious to them with his arm wrapped around my waist.
You can all stare but that’s the only thing you’ll be doing. I thought, shifting closer to Zade.
“You smell amazing.” Zade whispered huskily into my ear, only for me to hear as everyone else carried on talking to each other.
“I’m wearing new perfume.” I squirmed at the glint in his eyes.
“I like.” He smirked, lifting my hand to his lips.
The sound of a doorbell rang out through the house, loud and deafening. I caught the nervous look Vice and his sons shared.
“Ready?” Vice asked, smiling at me while he straightened out his suit.
“For what?” I questioned as he held his hand out to me.
“To meet your half-brother.” He replied just as two men came striding into the room.