Seven Years Passed
Several Years Passed
My father was working on finishing the deals with cocaine, and some new deal with Japanese weaponry. Thus far, my place in that business hadn’t begun yet. However, Gaelan had let me come to a few business meetings, so I guessed he was beginning to trust me a little more. Over the years I’ve done some wretched things with all sorts of men. Some women say they have standards or that they’re shallow, well, if you had a job like mine, that rule, so to say, didn’t exist.
Looking back on my life, I’d change one thing and that’s never calling that number. I wish I would have just taken the money I had found and ran away, anywhere. Just away from that shit hole I called home for so long. I could have been anything by now, I could have run my own pub for all I knew. Wouldn’t that be something? Instead, there I was, a slave to these men just so Gaelan was able to make the deals he wanted and needed. I have thought about leaving some nights. I’d sit at my window, looking out, wishing, wanting, hoping that someday I’d have the courage to run, the courage to defeat that monster. Someday I will, but for that moment in time, I had to do anything and everything I was told to do.
Although, I have to admit, I have seen and done some weird things since I started. I never thought a man would find a woman attractive if she wore a dildo and had her way with him. Just the mere thought of it gave me shivers, and not the good kind. I remembered this one client who wanted me to take a shit on his chest. As ordered by Gaelan, that man had the authority to kill me if I didn’t do what he asked of me, but how was I going to even begin to conjure up something so preposterous, so disgusting, to a man who was so hairy and not in the attractive kind of way. He was also one of the fattest and sweatiest clients I ever had, although I had not slept with him, I still get physically sick just thinking about him. In the end, I didn’t end up giving him any excrement nor sex of any kind. I called Francois, who was, like my father liked to call him, ‘Black Irish’ because his father was African-American and his mother was Irish, but Francois didn’t have an accent. He was also Gaelan’s right hand man and when I had called Francois and told him what the grotesque man wanted me to do, Francois came over and dealt with things while I waited in the car.
I always dreamt about making love as a young teenager, I told myself I would save it for the right man and he would take it and keep it forever and that man would be the only one to ever touch me. Then I met my father and he put me in his business, and that dream slowly burnt away. Damon and I had had sex a few more times until his mother caught us under the large willow tree one afternoon. I was nearly nineteen at the time, his mother called me a whore, a tramp, pretty much every slutty word one can think of. That night, Damon and his mother moved out of the house without telling Gaelan, which left him in a very horrible mood the next morning. God-for-bid he wakes up without his morning coffee. Of course, a new house maid was hired that afternoon. Though, it still pains me to say that Gaelan had killed Damon and his mother in their motel room right as the new house maid was brewing Gaelan’s morning coffee. I sometimes felt like Damon’s death was my fault. If only I kept my legs closed.
My father did most of his business deals either in the parking garage he owns or the local pub. Less surveillance in the pub, and no reception in the parking garage, which is one of the best places to do business deals, no cops, no problems. On that particular night, the night Gaelan let me in on his business deal with the Japanese, I was sitting at his pub Mario’s having dinner, studying files of some of the clients when my phone rang.
“Lylie, it’s daddy! Look up; you’ll see a man with a broken arm.”
I looked up and surprisingly, the man was looking at me as well. I smiled while I picked up my cigarette and took a long drag out of it. “Uh-huh.”
“Good. Study him closely. He’ll be joining the crew soon.”
“All right. I will.”
“Good. Tell him who you are and I’ll rip your tongue out.” He hung up.
I blew a few smoke rings before putting the butt out. I said nothing more and put my phone and papers into my bag. The bartender, Bradley, walked over and gave me a fresh one. I took a large gulp of it and gazed at that man Gaelan told me to watch. His right arm was broken, and it was obvious that he was right handed just by the way he struggled when picking up his pint. Blond hair and grey-blue eyes, he was a real looker compared to the old geezers patrolling the bar. I knew in that moment I wanted him, not for sex, though that was a given, but I wanted him to be mine. Ever since I was a child, watching all those disney movies, I dreamt of a prince to come save me, that man was my prince, he had to be, I wanted him to be.
I took my last gulp of beer, and nodded to the bartender that I was off. He picked up my plate and pint, then wished me goodnight. I was not obliged to pay, since that was Gaelan’s pub and that the man running it was also a slave to my father, but I did leave the bartender a nice tip. Quickly putting my jacket on as well as my large glasses, I started making my way toward the door. That mysterious man turned his head to look at me. His strong jaw line, those eyes, I wanted to yell: “I’m melting, I’m melting,” on the spot. He truly took my breath away. Our gazes held for a brief moment, then I smiled, and walked off.
The night was beautiful, I remember wanting to walk home, but Francois was there in the parking lot waiting for me. Francois was a kind yet extremely odd fellow. He was born in Ireland but moved to New York at a very young age, so the accent never stuck. He wanted everyone to think he was from France, yet the man didn’t speak of word of the language aside from a few lines here and there for the ladies. His reasoning for changing his name to Francois from Seamus, was that he loved the French culture, but mostly French wine. We didn’t ask questions about it, we just let him be, though the guys did tend to poke fun at him being ‘Black Irish’ yet wanting to be French. Extremely odd, but we loved him all the same. Francois was like a big brother to me or even a father, he taught me how to ride a motorcycle, how to work on cars, I pretty much knew almost everything there was to know about his Cadillac. Everything Gaelan should have done, Francois was there in his place, like a father should be.
He drove us home that night, the long way by the water front. The early summer breeze was beautiful, the smell of the water made me smile. How deeply I wanted to get away, the water was right there, all I had to do was get in and swim, swim anywhere I wanted to. Although, I knew that I had no choice but to stay. If I left, I’d be as good as dead.
Two Days later.
We went back to the bar that night, Gaelan in tow. Gaelan told me to wear something sexy and revealing. Nothing a little leopard print dress couldn’t handle. It was raining that night, I sadly regretted wearing such a short, tight dress with my boots and a thin scarf, I couldn’t stop shivering. Gaelan made us sit at the centre of the bar at the biggest table so everyone would know who we were and so that no one would fuck with us. The mysterious man was there again that night, Gaelan and his men kept an eye on him. We sat there for nearly an hour before we did anything. My father said that at the right moment, the perfect moment, he was going to make his move. One of Gaelan’s associates Christof, got up and went to the mysterious man. Christof started poking fun at him because of the fact that he was drinking water at the bar over beer or liquor.
“Water? What are you fucking pregnant or something?”
“Leave me alone man, I don’t want any trouble,” the man looked at him and took a sip of his drink.
“Any trouble? I’m not giving you any trouble am I, pussy?” the man stood up and punched Christof in the face. Seemed like the mysterious man was having a bad day. That was when Gaelan stood up and made his way over, he whispered something in the man’s ear, and they were off to the back room. Gaelan motioned for me to follow and I did.
We entered the room and all stood in a circle around the man. The man slowly backed away from us, stopping once his legs hit a table. Gaelan grabbed his throat, forcing him on the table.
“Are you a cop James?” my father asked. The mysterious man had a name! James looked frighten, I mean I would too if my father was holding me down by my throat. James licked his lips and Gaelan repeated the question. “Are you a cop, James?”
“Do I look like a fucking cop to you?” his Brooklyn accent gave me chills. Gaelan motioned to Francois, and in an instant, Francois stood up and gave Gaelan the bar stool he was sitting on. I stood there, observing these actions, as Gaelan let go of James’ throat, lifted the chair over his own head, and swung it across James’ face. James yelped, as my father continued beating him with the bar stool. Hitting James in the face repeatedly as he curled up and protected his head, his cast devouring most of the blows. I wanted to leap in front of him to stop that madness, but I knew I’d only get hit as well. James clenched the side of the table as my father stopped. He then grabbed his broken arm and hit it one last time. Dust and pieces of cast were scattered around them.
“I’m sorry, I don’t like smart-asses,” Gaelan sleeked his hair back and fixed his suit. “And I needed to know if there was a wire in there,”
“So you beat the shit out of me with a bar stool?” James said, sitting up and holding his arm to his chest.
“Seemed logical,” my father turned to Francois and nodded. “So, James, welcome.”
“Why me?” James asked, breathing heavily, he moved slowly to the floor, leaning against the table, still holding his arm.
“Either you’ll be in or you won’t. Which is it?” Gaelan cleared his throat and noticed that James was looking at me. A drop of sweat slid down James’ forehead. “You like her? This is my daughter, we call her Lylie, but she is open to any name you feel like calling her.” My father walked over to me and put his arm around my waist, pulling me toward him. “Now, James, if you agree to this, you’ll be able to see her and be with her twenty-four seven. Plus, the money’s good and I’d say your father owes me one.” James didn’t say a word, just nodded his head. Gaelan let go of me and reached into his pocket, taking out a stack of bills and handing a fifty to James. “For the damages.”
I walked over to James and helped him get up. I took off my scarf and wrapped James’ arm in it. His musky smell filling my nostrils. His eyes were bluer than I remembered, they looked like crystals. His smile made butterflies ignite in my stomach.
“James,” he said, smiling and wincing.
“I can get this all fixed up for you, without needing to wait hours and hours in the ER, I mean if that’s all right with you?” James smiled, unable to keep his eyes off me. “I’ll take that as a yes then. Not much of a talker I see. No worries then love, I’ll take good care of you.”
We left the bar, got into his car, and I drove to the nearest pharmacy where I picked up what I thought I needed for a cast, then off to his house. The drive was silent and awkward. My brain scattered for things to talk about, though nothing came out of my mouth. It seemed as though my mind and lips wanted nothing more that to kiss him all over his body and leave the talking for another time.
His home was nearly as horrible as my childhood home. Old newspapers, crumpled, and scattered all over the floor. Plates with what used to be food, were placed on various shelves and the tables. When I walked in, an odd stench slapped me in the face, it wasn’t the smell of a dirty, disgusting home, but the smell of a broken home. I recognized that smell, my childhood home used to smell like it. Cigarettes, booze, and leftover macaroni and cheese. Memories of my mother came flashing back. Her beautiful smile, her hugs and kisses. In that moment, I wished she was still around. I wondered where my life would’ve been if she were. Would I be still in school, awaiting a degree in something? Would we have finally moved out of Britain like we always said we would?
James and I stepped into the living room, that led to the kitchen.
“Can you get me a bowl of warm water? Or at least show me where I can get one?” I asked. James sat down at the kitchen table and pointed to one of the cabinet doors. As I reached for a bowl, my dress went up nearly showing my entire behind, when I turned, I noticed James didn’t feel the need to be respectful to a woman trying to help fix his broken arm. I ignored it because he was to die for. I filled the bowl with warm water and brought it over to the table. I moved a large bowl of apples and a few other remains from days prior, out of the way. “Could you put your arm over the bowl so I can wash the old cast remains off it?”
“I take it you’ve done this shit before?” James asked.
“Well, yes and no. I mean, I’ve stitched up a few of the guys before, you know. Tended to their wounds.”
“Thanks,” James said grinning.
“No problem love, you’re part of the family now right? Have to treat you like I would my own brother,” I said. James squirmed a little as I squeezed his arm. “Sorry, but I think we might have to spend a few hours in a waiting room. Your bone is misplaced. Again, I mean I can try to fix it, I’ve done it once before on Francois, he dislocated his knee and I popped it back in. He walks with a limp but that’s a whole other story that’s not entirely my fault.”
“Just do it,” James gripped the side of the table with his free hand. I searched through the drawers for something for him to bite on. I put a wooden spoon in his mouth and took a few deep breaths. We gazed at one another and I quickly snapped his bone into place, James yelled and a few tears streamed down his cheeks. I held his arm in place as I started wrapping it. I remembered we had been on a run, simple little drug run that Gaelan let me join Francois and Christof with. All we had to do was go to the location, give the drugs, take the money, and come home. But the guys we were going to meet had other plans. When we had gotten there, they took out their guns and started beating the shit out of us, nearly raping me, but Christof and his Russian ways, took the gun off of one of the guys and shot him. The other’s were too scared they just ran off. I wasn’t too badly beaten, a few bruised ribs and a fractured collarbone, but Francois had it the worst being beaten with a lead pipe. His knee cap was dislocated and he wasn’t able to walk, I had no idea what to do but Christof walked me through it. I popped it back into place but as I did that, a few ligaments snapped, thus why he now walks with a limp.
“Sorry about that, you all right?” I asked, my new manicure damaged by plaster wrappings. James nodded and wiped the tears from his eyes. As I was wrapping it, we didn’t say anything. I felt nervous to be around him, unlike any of the other men I was supposed to cater to. James seemed different, and I liked different, I wanted to get to know different.
“Why do you have an accent and your father doesn’t?” he asked and lit a cigarette, taking a drag then putting the cigarette in my mouth.
“Long story short, my mother ran away to Britain to be with her parents and to get away from the monster we call our boss. Why? Does it bother you or is it annoying or something?” I said as I let the smoke sneak out of my mouth.
“No, I like it,” James wiped the tears from his eyes again and reached for a bottle of rum on the table. “You want some?”
“No, I don’t drink much. And you seem to need it more than I do,” I smiled as James took a swig. “So how’d you break your arm anyway?”
“Being stupid. I slipped in my shower and reached for the curtain but missed and my arm hit the toilet instead.”
“How lovely,” I said chuckling, our gazes met. “I think I’m done here.”
“Hey, not so bad,” he said. “Thank you, really.”
“All in good faith love. All in good faith,” I said and sat at the table, grabbing an apple from the bowl.
“Do you need a ride or something?” James asked as I took a bite of the apple.
“Why? Am I disrupting your night?”
“I just wasn’t sure…um…could we start over?”
“If only it were that easy love,” I said and used my thumb to wipe apple juice from my lip.