Sing Kumbaya & Ask Them to Leave
I turned around and frowned in confusion.
"Why do you care Lincoln?" I asked as I backed away from him.
What would he gain out of driving me all the way to CT? It certainly wouldn't be my stellar company.
"Because you're going to get yourself into trouble. I can envision it already," he answered. His grey eyes locked on bleeding hand and shifted to meet my tired green eyes.
I can't afford to decline his offer. What if my father takes my sisters and disappears off of the face of the planet? Then I'm screwed.
I paused and looked at him. "Are you sure Lincoln? You have to understand that you're offering to drive me five hours out of town," I said.
He must have a lot of free time to offer such a valuable favor to me.
Lincoln nodded and waited for me to make my decision.
"Okay, yes I'll come with you on one condition," I said to him.
He waited for me to speak.
"I'm paying for your gas expense. I don't take handouts," I responded with confidence.
"I didn't expect anything less. But I have one condition too," he said to me with a smirk.
"And what's that?" I said, trying to remain calm. I really wanted this to work out.
"You have to let me clean your hand," he said and I let out a small breathe of air which he undoubtedly also noticed. He noticed everything about me...I could feel him watching the way I reacted to everything he said.
I nodded in agreement and walked closer to him. Lincoln surprised me when he picked me up by my waist and told me wrap my body around his. I shrieked in shock at first but then relaxed when I realized that he was just carrying me into his sister's home.
The inside of his sister's house was beautiful, decorated with modern art sculptures and paintings. As Lincoln carried me into the kitchen, I smelled vegetable soup and my nose was right. I saw some left-overs in a disposable container.
To my surprise once more, this sexy man did not put me down even though I was straddling his waist. His arm was under my ass and I was placed on the kitchen counter near the sink so he could clean up my bloody hand.
My legs tightened around his waist as he cleaned the broken skin with cool water. I felt attracted to this man even though I was in pain and dealing with a bigger issue at hand.
I could sense his hesitation to pull away from my body, even after he finished cleaning up my cuts but he took a step back and I took that as a cue to let me legs dangle over the countertop.
"You're all set Kari," he said to me with a smile.
Just then, his little niece ran into the kitchen. "Mommy said that she'll be working from home tonight. Can we play more basketball?"
"Not tonight Trini. Make sure you sit with Mommy tonight. I'm not going to be home for a bit," Lincoln said softly to Trini. I smiled at their bond and laughed a little when she pouted at his answer.
"Let me pack a bag with some necessities and I'll be right back okay?" Lincoln said in my direction.
"Sure. Oh by the way, my name's Karina, not Kari," I blurted out randomly and Trini giggled. I blushed but met Lincoln's eyes.
"Karina it is," he replied in a husky tone as he ran a hand through his sleek black hair. The brown highlights showed up under the kitchen's luminous lights.
Five minutes later, Trini hugged Lincoln goodbye as he emerged with a bag.
"Let's go," said Lincoln as he tossed me a duffel bag. I placed it in the backseat and ran to grab my items that I had thrown near his driveway. I climbed into his red Ford truck and anxiously traced patterns on the bottom of my yellow lace dress.
I smiled as I remembered Tyler's kind words in his note.
Lincoln started driving down the highway after plugging in the location I gave him into Google Maps.
I was happy when he started speeding at 70 mph because that told me he understood my urgency to get to Connecticut.
We were quiet for quite a bit until I spoke.
"Are you from Maryland originally?" I asked.
The sun had already disappeared and all we were left with was a dusk night.
"Nah, I'm a New Yorker," he responded as he maneuvered around slower cars.
"Nice. I hope you aren't uncomfortable with teenagers because I have a younger sister Teela and she's a handful even though she's 18 years old. Maven is 28 years old and extremely quiet so don't take it personally if she doesn't say anything to you," I said.
He chuckled and said, "I'm sure I can handle Teela. I've watched had my fair share of time with Trini."
I laughed and retorted, "Teela's the type of girl to give you a run for your money Lincoln. Don't underestimate the power of a teenager."
"We'll see. Why were you willing to commit suicide rather than complying with your father's request to see you?" he asked me.
I gulped and swallowed bile.
My mother screamed in pain as he swung a mini decorative tree at his legs and landed repeated punches on her torso. Her legs were covered in bloody scrapes and bruises already.
"Don't move or scream. Otherwise, they're next," my father shouted at me. My ears throbbed from his booming voice and my knees shook from fear.
Maven covered Teela's eyes and shook her head at me. She knew I wanted to do something but my feet were rooted to the same spot.
I wailed as sobs wracked my body. I couldn't even save my mother from this deranged man who seemed more like a monster.
He continued to throw objects at her body and hit her repeatedly.
I needed to do something. Maybe if I threw myself off of the staircase, he'd stop hitting her to save me. Assuming there is an ounce of humanity left in him.
But I couldn't bring myself to do it. Fight, Flight, or Freeze. I was the loser who stood there and watched my mom die out of fear instead of calling the cops.
My fear left me standing there. Cowering.
He stalked out of the house and drove away after killing my mother. That was when we decided to leave that horrid place.
I stole one of my father's other cars and had Maven drive us to a funeral home. I didn't have much cash but there was no way I'd leave my mom's body behind for that vile man to look at and destroy further.
I already had the scars all over my body for making the mistake of questioning my father. He hated me with a roaring passion. What would it matter if he eventually caught me as long as my sisters were further away from me?
Snap out of it Karina!!!
I didn't know how long we'd sat in silence as Lincoln drove but I knew I had to answer him since he'd taken the time to help me.
He'd done something that not many people would do.
"I'm not sure how to answer that because it's one hell of a loaded question. But you do deserve to know what you're getting into," I said as I stared out of the truck's window.
Lincoln drove and let me take the time that I needed to form words.
"I grew up in a volatile household and saw a lot of violence. My mother is dead and my father is the epitome of a villainous man who wants to use me to find my sisters. It was only a matter of time before he sent Seth, his best friend to find me. They all know that the best way to hurt me is to hurt Maven and Teela. I can't let that happen," I responded.
After a couple of minutes, Lincoln said, "You can't possibly be planning to march into your sister's apartment and walk out without being spotted if Seth gets there first."
"I don't have a better plan. If Seth is around, I'll use the back entrance. I know the apartment complex pretty well since I was the one who picked it out," I said.
He's right though. It's not a solid plan and I'm most likely going to get caught.
Lincoln shook his head in disdain. "No, use me. Seth doesn't know what I look like and I don't know who he is either. If I see his friends, I can knock them out. I've worked for the military so I can handle myself. By the way, there's a white bandage for your knuckles if your cuts still hurt and some food. Help yourself," he said.
"I don't feel comfortable with you risking your life for me," I said as I pulled out the bandage from his bag. I cringed as I tried to bend my knuckles.
"It's a strategy that's going to work way better than you getting captured right as you step foot onto their turf," Lincoln said. It was nearing 9 pm and I could tell that Lincoln had already sped up since there weren't as many people on the road.
I need to text Maven and Teela.
"I'll admit that it is a better plan than mine. But they'll see Maven and Teela right away. They're easy to recognize especially since Teela has strawberry blonde hair and Maven died her black hair partially purple. What would you do after you get them out of the building? Sing kumbaya and ask them politely to leave? You're going to be surrounded," I retorted, leaning my head back on the headrest.
"That's where you come in. You're going to drive this truck up into the back parking lot once Maven texts you on my phone. Seth will probably shoot at you or something so you need to react quickly and pull up fast," said Lincoln.
I pulled out a water bottle and took an air sip. Then I handed him some. He'd been driving for a while now. We were already in the outskirts of Connecticut, near the Foxwood Casino.
"Okay, so my chances of getting shot are mad high. Wonderful plan Mr. Walker. Let's do it anyway," I said sarcastically.
"There's always a risk. This plan won't work unless you take a risk," Lincoln responded with a smirk. Finally, a change to his stoic demeanor.
"Yeah yeah, I've heard this already. Take a leap of faith and so on," I said as I yawned.
I pulled out my phone to send Teela and Maven a text about the situation. I got a shitton of questions that I couldn't answer so I said t
"Take a nap for a bit. I'll wake you up when we get there," I heard Lincoln say but I was already drifting off.
I'm coming for you guys Maven and Teela. Just hold on.