Smoke

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Chapter Forty-One

The next week felt odd, having Oliver back still felt weird and I couldn’t help but feel angry towards him. Yet I was relieved at the same time.

He came over every other day to spend time with the kids and they loved it, but I never let him in the house without someone being there. When I was working I made sure the kids were with one of my brothers, Toby and Nathan would glare at him, making him uncomfortable but Oliver just took it and got on.

He knew he was in the wrong and had a lot of making up to do.

I felt like we were being watched still though, something didn’t feel right, and I kept my jacket on with gun holstered wherever I went. I didn’t go to the gang house all week I was still annoyed with Connor.

Tyson, however, hadn’t stopped talking to me recently, he was becoming a loyal member of the gang and yet his loyalty was more to me than the others. He had moved his daughter to Mason’s school with Hayley, she had apologised to Hayley and she had forgiven her. Now they talked occasionally in the school halls and watched each-others backs. It was sweet as Serena and Hayley had made up and she was changing, Tyson had really stepped up.

Today was Payton’s first day back at work as I was working in the club office when she wandered in.

“Hey Payton, welcome back” I smile as she smiles back.

“Hey, there’s a guy outside that says he needs to talk to you” She says as I frown and walk towards her.

“Is Bailey still here?” I ask.

“Yeah” Payton nods.

“Stay with her” I say, and she frowns but agrees as she wanders off as I come out the office to find a tall, well built man, who had to be at least sixty years old. I watch as Payton whispers in Bailey’s ear, Bailey looks to me with a worried look and I nod for them to go to the other office.

“Can I help you? I wasn’t expecting visitors…” I said to the man as he’s observing the club.

“Are you Katrina Smoak?” He booms, his voice deep and menacing.

“What do you need Katrina for?” I ask.

“She knows a friend of mine, well a few of them actually and I need to get in touch” He booms.

“Well, you can leave a message with me if you like and I’ll be sure to get it to them all” I say sweetly.

“Don’t mess with me girl” He growls as he moves his jacket to show his gun.

“Let’s take this to the office shall we…Sorry what is your name?” I ask leading him to my office where my own gun was currently in my jacket on the back of my chair.

“Karlos, Karlos Hendernaz” He smirks as my eyes widen.

“Well, nice to meet you Karlos…” I say going to my desk as he slams the door on us.

“I assume you ARE Katrina Smoak” He smirks.

“You assume correct, now what do you want?” I ask sitting at my desk, sliding the gun carefully from my jacket.

“I need to talk to Oliver, Connor and Mason” he booms.

“You killed their father, now why would I let you near them?”

“I didn’t kill him” He booms.

“What? Then who did?” I question.

“Oliver did” He says as he sits in front of me.

“Oliver? Why would he kill his own uncle?” I raise a brow.

“Probably because his own parents died because of him. Why else would he have abandoned you. I’ve been watching all of you. He abandoned you and what is he saying now, he’s sorry and he’s been watching from the sides, trying to keep you safe. It was all to keep you safe from nastier monsters. What has that family told you of me? That I’m the big nasty man who kills anything?”

“Why would you care what I thought?”

“Because, your father got a message to me before he died. He was my best friend and he made a huge mistake I don’t blame you for killing him, I would have done the same…However, Oliver is not the man he claims to be. He wants the gang, he wants power, always did and you are putting your children at risk being near him.”

“Why should I trust a word you say? I don’t know you either”

“Because you are next in line after me for the Snakes” He says, and I look at him flabbergasted.

“How?”

“Because, you are my grandchild” He booms as he hauls out a small photo album from his pocket as pictures of my mother fill them, then some of me and my brothers, and finally a picture of us all with Karlos, I was just a baby.

“No way…” I flick through them.

“Your mother never wanted this life for you, neither did Benjamin. I’m sorry it has come to this” He sighs.

“So, wait…If I die and so do you, who takes over?” I ask.

“The Snakes would be your son’s but he is not old enough so it would go to the father of the child until he was old enough…Oliver” He booms.

“Why would Oliver go after Connor and Mason’s father then?”

“Because he wants them all. He’s been running the Lockes still, he wants it all, he wants power”

“I…I…Shit…I don’t know about this…” I groan as I look into the security feed.

“Shit, the boys are here, Bailey must have rung Connor” I say quickly.

“I need to go. But I will come back to you. Please Katrina, I need you to believe me, I want to keep you safe” He booms, places a phone on the desk.

“What’s that for?” I ask.

“Keep it hidden, I will contact you soon. Now how do I get out without bumping into them?” He says.

“Kat!” Connor is bashing on the locked door.

“Window is your best bet” As I nod to the window as Karlos kisses my head as I flinch and he runs off, climbing out the window.

I wipe the video footage, making it look like a computer fault, so they wouldn’t know he had been here. Why was I protecting a man I didn’t know? Was it because he was potentially my grandfather?

“I’m coming fuck sake!” I shout as Connor is trying to break down the door.

I pull it open and he’s there with Oliver and Craig, red in the face with anger.

“Who was here?” he growls as he looks around the room.

“Some guy came looking for a job, he left already. Why are you bashing down my door?” I snap as I notice the album is still on the desk as I walk over and sit on it, hiding it from view.

“Bailey rang us, said some guy was looking for you and you weren’t answering your phone, so we got a little worried” Oliver answered.

“Shit, my phone is on silent from last night, sorry guys. Seriously, everything is fine” I smile as Oliver looks at me warily.

“You sure?” Connor asks.

“Yes Connor, now get out, I have work to do” I shoo them away.

“Fine, call us if you need us” Connor sighs as I see Oliver look at the window.

“Mind if I look at the footage, just to check it’s not some weirdo?” Oliver says and my heart begins to beat faster with worry.

“I am quite capable of handling myself Oliver” I snap.

“Piece of mind then” He says coming towards the computer as I sigh, moving quickly to hide the album without their knowledge in between the filing cabinet under the desk and the desk itself.

“You’ve got no footage from the whole day Kat” Oliver growls.

“What?! How?!” I exclaim, pretending to be shocked as I whirl around to his side of the desk.

“Looks like a fault in the system, who rigged this up?” Oliver snaps.

“The boys, I’ll get it sorted” I sigh.

“I’ll sort it” he snaps.

“Oliver I am capable!” I shout as I pull him from the chair and shove him away.

“I am trying to keep you safe” He snaps back.
“I don’t need your protection Oliver I am quite capable of doing that myself”

“Oh really, what about this scar, and this one…Real capable Katrina” He pushes against each of the scars I had gotten recently.

“I’m alive aren’t I” I raise a brow.

“Yeah you are” He says, but there’s a different tone to his voice. Like he’s disappointed.

“Come on Oliver, let’s go” Connor says, he obviously hadn’t noticed it as he rolls his eyes at his cousin.

“Fine, I’m coming over to see Ollie and Hayley tonight Kat” Oliver says.

“Not tonight, kids are having a playdate” I said, it was true they were, Mason, Toby and Jasmine were coming over.

“Fine” He snaps and follows his cousin out the room as I sigh.

This year had got more ridiculous by the minute…

“Kat?” Bailey and Payton walk in as I sit in my seat, head back in frustration.

“Of all the people you ring, you ring Connor and Oliver” I raise a brow.

“That guy was super scary looking I clocked his gun a mile off. Who was he? What did he want and why did he not leave through the door?” Payton murmurs.

“You didn’t tell the boys that did you?” I panic.

“No. Oliver’s a dick, I only put up with him for Mason, it’s his cousin…Although, Mason isn’t so happy with him still, thinks something is off” Bailey answers.

“What do you guys think?”

“I don’t trust him” Payton says.

“I’m on the fence” Bailey answers.

“Girl if I told you something, could you keep it to yourselves until I figure some shit out” I ask.

“I won’t tell a soul” Payton nods and sits in front of me.

“Honestly, I hate secrets Kat, I can’t keep anything from Mason” Bailey sighs.

“Fuck it…I need a Kingsley involved to help me with this. Call Mason, get him here” I say as Bailey looks worried but makes the call.

“Lydia has him covered so he’s on his way” She says as I smile, Lydia had taken my old job with him and she was amazing at it.

“What’s this about Kat?” Payton mumbles.

“Family…Oliver…Gangs…Power” I state as I grab the photo album and place it in front of her.

“This is a family album, that’s you right?” Payton flicks through them slowly.

“Yes, now look at the last one” I say

“Who’s that man?” Bailey points to Karlos.

“That is the problem…That is Karlos Hendernaz…” I answer as Bailey gasps.

“What is he doing in your family album?” Payton asks.

“Girls?” I hear the soft clunk of Mason’s prosthetic as he comes into the office.

“Close the door Mason” I say, and he look worried but does so as Bailey pulls up another chair.

“What’s going on?” Mason asks as I gesture Payton to give him the album.

“I was just telling the girls I have a huge problem right now and it’s only right that at least one of the Kingsley brothers knows as I may need your help.” I sigh as he’s looking at the photos. Bailey reaches over his arms and makes him flick to the last one, pointing to Karlos.

“Why is Karlos Hendernaz in your photo album?” Mason’s eyes widen.

“Because I believe he’s my grandfather…” I murmur as all three gasp.

“That murderer is your grandfather!” Mason growls.

“Mason, I need you to listen to what I have to say and then make your judgement ok…Please” I say

“Fine, spill it” he says as I go into everything that had happened today as they all listen intently, when I finished they all looked in shock.

“Well, what do you guys think?” I mutter.

“I think you need to confirm he is your grandfather first” Payton says.

“I agree, until we confirm what he has to say, it means nothing. Oliver has been so good with the kids…” Bailey says.

“You should have heard him earlier Bailey, it was like he was upset that I had survived, it was in his voice”

“My cousin will never change…I believe Karlos, I wish I didn’t, but I do. You’re not safe Kat” Mason murmurs.

“What do I do?”

“We warn your family, but we have to keep up with the façade, he can’t know what’s going on. But I think Connor should be left out too, he’s too into Oliver’s pocket right now, he won’t believe it. But we have to be prepared. If Oliver did manage to kill our father, then we’re all in trouble” Mason answers.

“We have to keep Ollie and Hayley safe” I cry.

“We will, no one is touching those kids” Bailey answers as she hugs me tight.

“Why does this always happen to me? Why can’t I just have a normal fucking life” I cry.

“Unfortunately, you were born into a family with demons like I was, but we will keep fighting them off and I would die for any of you” Mason answers.

“You’re not dying any day soon, not on my watch. We watch each other’s backs.” Bailey kisses him softly.

“Mason, the girls should be gun trained” I say, and he nods.

“I agree, I’ll sort it” He sighs as I see Payton’s hands shake.

“Payton listen to me I’m not letting anyone hurt you. I will tell Nathan what’s going on and we will keep you safe, nothing is going to happen to you ever again” I walk around the desk and place my hand on hers as she focuses on her breathing.

“We’ll deal with this. Kat I really am sorry, I wanted to believe he had changed and was keeping you safe, just like everyone else did and yet he seems has wormed his way back in again” Mason sighs as I grab my jacket and shut down the system.

“It’s not your fault Mason. Girls take the night off I’ll call in the others to do the shift tonight. Mason can you take them with you. I don’t want Payton alone until we’ve spoken to Nathan…Actually while I talk to Toby, would you tell him” I say, and they nod at me as I send a message to two of the other bar tenders we used getting them in for the night as they replied, happy for the overtime.

“You got it. Where are you going?” Mason asks.

“Home, I need to talk to Toby today” I answer.

“Be careful on the roads, I’ll keep the girls safe and let Nathan know” He says as I nod, grab the album and the burner phone, putting them in my bag as we all make our way out.

“Thanks Mason” hug them all.

“Hey Greg, the Shaun and Tav will be in soon, you ok here for a bit on your own?” I shout as Greg is playing with the speakers and DJ deck.

“Yeah all good here” He waves and keeps on with messing around with the deck.

“See ya later” I shout waving as I exit and watch the girls get in the car with Mason as I wave them off.

I drove to my brother’s house and I couldn’t get my mind out from this crazy situation.

I arrived and noticed Connor’s car parked in the drive as I swore, slamming my car door. I had told Oliver not to come tonight!

I walked into the house as I heard Oliver and Toby chatting like friends about the club.

“We need to update that system dude I can do it for you if you like” Oliver says to Toby.

“That would be great, I really worry about Kat when she’s in there alone” Toby answers.

“I told you not to come over tonight” I growl in the doorway at Oliver.

“I needed to talk to Toby about your security system, if you won’t take it seriously, I will” Oliver rolls his eyes.

“I AM taking it seriously I am quite capable of getting it sorted myself!” I shout.

“He’s just trying to help Kat” Toby says as I glare at him, he gives me a look as if he’s trying to understand what I’m doing.

“Oliver get out. I told you I would sort it and I am. Now go home before the kids get back” I point to the front door for him to leave.

“But I want to see Ollie” He sighs.

“No, now get out”

“Kat, it’s his kid” Toby sighs. I glare at him again.

“I am Ollie’s mother. It’s my way or the highway” I snap.

“What is your problem today? Did that guy say something to you? The one in the club today?” Oliver asks.

“He just asked for a job Oliver, nothing sinister. Will you chill out. Can’t you just do as I say for once, you can come see Ollie tomorrow as planned. Please Oliver, I just want some time with my family tonight while the kids play” I sigh.

“Fine.” He storms out the house and slams the door as I hear Ollie scream thanks to the loud noise as I sigh and go upstairs as Toby follows me.

“What the hell was that?” He asks as I coo at Ollie to calm him down.

“I’ll explain when Jasmine’s home” I sigh as I kiss Ollie’s head.

“NOW KATRINA” Toby shouts at me as I back up in shock. Of all the brothers to shout at me, I never would expect Toby to.

“I am not explaining this again and again, so we are waiting for Jasmine to come home.”

“You’re ridiculous” he utters and leaves the room as I feel deflated.

He would understand when I told him, I hope…

Mason: Nathan came home early, he knows, and he’s headed your way!

Kat: Great…Just what I need when I just told Toby to wait for Jasmine to get home before I told him.

Mason: Sorry Kat, he’s mad.

Kat: I’ll deal with it.

“Katrina!” I hear Nathan’s voice shout as I hold Ollie on my hip and make my way down.

“Do you mind not shouting with Ollie about please” I say as his eyes are furious.

“Where’s the album?” He asks.

“My bag” I nodded towards my bag as he rummages in it and looks in the album, flicking to the last page.

“What’s that?” Toby points to it as Nathan looks at me in shock.

“You haven’t told him…”

“I was waiting for Jasmine to come home” I sigh.

“Katrina Smoak you will tell me now” Toby growls.

“Oliver is trying to kill her, the man that killed Connor and Mason’s dad is our grandfather and she saw him today” Nathan states.

“Nicely put” I roll my eyes sarcastically.

“I…I…I don’t understand” Toby mutters.

“Go sit down, both of you” I say as they follow me into the lounge, and I begin to tell them everything I knew as I could see the rage fill their eyes.

“He was just in my house Kat…How could you let me keep him here?!” Toby shouts.

“What did you want me to do? I was trying to boot him out, but YOU kept trying to let him see Ollie. How was I supposed to do it without him realising?” I snap as he bows his head.

“This is crazy” Nathan mutters.

“What’s crazy?” Jasmine smiles as the kids follow her, giggling to each other.

“Auntie Kat!” Mason chuckles and bundles into me with Hayley by his side as I’m attacked by them both with hugs.

“Hi mummy” Hayley giggles.

“Hey babies, how was school?” I ask.

“Boring! But, this boy Tyler, he kissed Serena today and then threw up” Hayley burst into a fit of laughter as I giggled.

“Poor Serena, I’m sure it wasn’t that bad of a kiss.” I chuckle.

“Girls got cooties” Mason did a fake gag.

“HEY! What about me?” Hayley shoved him playfully.

“You’re not a proper girl…You’re my cousin” Mason shrugged.

“Kids why don’t you go play, us grown ups need to have a chat” Jasmine said eyeing the angry looking Toby and Nathan.

“Everything ok mum?” Hayley whispers in my ear.

“Everything will be fine Hayley” I kiss her cheek and she looks at me as if she doesn’t believe me.

“Where’s mummy?” she asks.

“At work, don’t worry she’ll be home soon. Go play baby” I say as she nods slowly and walks out the room with Mason, her eyes don’t leave mine as I give her the best smile I can. She was too smart she always knew when something was bugging me.

“Now, do tell me why my husband and your brother look ready to go on a killing spree” Jasmine sighs sitting next to Toby as she takes his hand.

“Here we go again” I sigh as I begin to tell her everything too.

“That man will never enter my house again” She says sternly.

“If he notices something wrong now it could set him off, we have to buy time to deal with this. Until I can get back in touch with our grandfather again, what choice do we have. We won’t leave the kids with him and we’ll all make sure we have a weapon in the house, safely, for us to get if something happens” I say.

“Why are YOU next in line for the Snakes though, there’s three older brothers to choose from…” Jasmine says.

“I have no idea” I shake my head with a sigh.

“All I know is we haven’t seen him since that picture was taken” Toby says taking the album, flicking through it properly as his eyes focus on a photo of our mother.

“God I miss her” Toby sighs.

“We all do” Nathan puts a hand on his shoulder as I tear falls down my face.

“Kat…” Jasmine says faintly as she notices, I wipe the tear from my face and begin playing with Ollie in my lap.

“I’m fine” I say.

“No you’re not” Nathan says before coming to sit beside me, taking us both in a cuddle on the sofa.

“MUMMY!” Mason screams out as we all rush to the stairs.

“What’s the matter?” Toby asks.

“She’s gone!” He answers.

I put Ollie in Nathan’s arms as I rush upstairs.

“HAYLEY!” I scream as I look in every room.

“Mason, what happened?” I rush to his side, kneeling beside him.

“She…She said we should listen, so…so…we snuck back down and heard what you said about her daddy. She…She…started crying saying her daddy was mean…She said she had to protect her mummies” He cried.

“Shit! Jasmine, can you keep Ollie?” I say quickly.

“Of course” She nods.

“Call the others! I want her found! She can’t have gone far! DO NOT ring Oliver or Connor.” I growl as I dart out the front door.

Where the hell would she go?

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