The Fire Within

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Today is the day I can get out. I have become stronger and I don’t need help walking. But the doctors still insisted on me riding in a wheelchair.

After I am checked out, my dad, Liam, and I go outside. The doctor wheeling me around stops at the doors and I get out of the wheelchair. I thank her for the ride and she leaves with a smile. Liam walks behind my dad and me, checking our surroundings for possible threats.

“Agent Cross, you can go to your house to pack all your necessities. My bodyguards will protect Dawn until you show up at my house,” my dad says and Liam nods. He gives me a nod before he goes to his car. Dad looks at me. “Are you going to ride with me or in a separate car?”

“With you,” I say immediately and he nods with a smile. He leads me to the two sleek black cars waiting for us and he lets me climb in the back first. He follows me and he shuts the door behind him. We leave the hospital and I sigh.

I watch the scenery pass in a whir as we drive. The hospital is only thirty minutes from our house so we don’t have that long of a drive.

“Your mother went to visit her mother. She wanted to stay to see you off but her mother was facing some difficulties with her treatment,” dad explains and I nod.

My grandmother and I don’t have the best relationship. When I was a kid, she abused me mentally and sometimes physically. My dad filed a restraining order against her for me so I don’t see her anymore. My mother was angry with her mother but she couldn’t just stop loving her. And that’s fine. I understand. As long as my mom doesn’t turn out like her’s.

“And what are the guys doing?” I ask, referring to my brothers.

“Waiting at home. They offered to go ahead and pack your things for you but I guessed you didn’t want them to see your... Lady products.” I laugh at my dad’s uncomfortable tone and shake my head.

“Thank you,” I say. Silence falls between us before I realize something. “I noticed there were no paparazzi when we left. What is up with that?”

“They didn’t know you were going to heal so quickly. And I made the doctors and nurses stay quiet about it,” he reveals and I nod.

We make it to the house and I sigh. We get out and I stumble slightly. One of dad’s guards catches me before I can fall and I thank him. He nods before releasing me cautiously. I walk away from him slowly, testing my legs. When I know I can walk safely on my own, I pick up the pace.

My dad is waiting for me and we walk into the house together. My brothers greet me happily and I give them wide smiles and big hugs.

“Do you need help packing?” Declan asks and I nod. He helps me upstairs and Devan follows closely behind. When we get in my room, they close my door and cross their arms over their chests. I furrow my eyebrows at them, wondering why they are glaring at me. Then, Devan walks to my closet and opens it. He moves my clothes to the right and exposes the padlock. I go pale as he types in the code and the secret door opens. Declan leads me in the secret room and they glare at me harder.

“What is all this? And don’t you dare lie to us,” Devan says and I sigh.

“You can’t tell mom and dad.” They nod. “I am a con-artist.”

They stare at me as I walk over to the other secret closet and I open it. I show them everything I have conned people out of and they gasp. They gasp at the diamonds, gems, jewelry, money, and gold.

“Why?” Declan whispers and I sigh. They both know the reasons.

“The same reason you and Devan are hit-men. To make sure we have a life after dad’s service,” I say and my brothers give me wide-eyed looks. I don’t state the other reason, knowing they already know. “I’ve known for two years. I know what the tattoos on your middle fingers mean. I’ve seen it on the dark web. Some gangsters put up a warning with your tattoo. They had vague descriptions of you two. Both of which were incorrect.”

“How did you access the dark wed?” Devan asks and I give him a blank look.

“It’s not that hard. How do you think I found all my targets to con?”

“You do know you’re wanted by the FBI, right?” Declan asks and I nod. “So you know if Agent Cross finds out, he will take you in, yes?”

“Yes. I know. Which is why I was wondering if I can trust the two of you to keep all of this a secret. And possibly move all this to your house?” My brothers live in the same house together and they have just enough room to keeping my things in there.

“Sure. But what will you say if Liam finds your wigs and contacts?”

“I’ll say I am into cosplay. Yes, lying to the FBI is risky but I’ve been lying for years.” They nod and we walk out of the room. I grab some boxes and I bring them to the secret room. My brothers bring in boxes as well and we start packing my things for my con job.

When everything is packed from in there, I disable the padlock and I take it down. I put it in a box before my brothers carry them into the room. Everything I collected from my gigs, I put in a bag that I am going to put in one of the boxes with my clothes.

We pack everything else in the boxes. I make sure the bag with my earnings is covered securely. I shout at Declan who is carelessly tossing my book into a box and he rolls his eyes at me. I hear a chuckle from the doorway and I look in that direction.

Liam is standing there in black jeans and a white shirt that hugs his figure perfectly.

“Are you just going to stand there and look ugly or are you going to help us, Agent?” I ask and he glares at me.

“I told you to call me Liam. You are going to have to get used to calling me that for when we go to school in a week.” I roll my eyes and I get back to packing. Liam comes in and he starts closing the boxes. When he makes it to the box with my hidden earnings, I tense slightly but I quickly compose myself.

When the last box and packed and closed, I sigh and look around the almost empty room. I am taking my bedframe, getting a new mattress, taking my dresser, bookshelf, and desk. Devan tells dad over the intercoms that we are ready for the movers to bring my things out. Which reminds me.

“Hey, Declan. Can you hand me that red spray paint on the floor?” I ask and he nods. He grabs it and tosses it to me. I then spray a big red “X” on the mattress meaning it is getting trashed. “And now I am ready to move in with my bodyguard.”

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