Chapter 25: You’d better kill me.
“Julie, this is Owen.” Daveigh smiled, gripping Owen’s arm tightly. Owen extended an arm with an awkward smile, and Julie looked apprehensive for a moment, but then drew a gorgeous smile upon her face and shook his hand. Owen looked around the house. Julie went into the lounge. A hulking mass in a suit came down the steps. It was impeccably dressed but Owen’s eyes simply widened looking at its face. He meekly extended a hand.
“Peppers, this is Owen!” Daveigh said.
“It’s nice to meet you, sir” Owen said slightly anxious.
“Pleased to meet you. Call me Malachi. Or Mr Beaumont. Or Peppers. Whatever you feel more comfortable with.” Peppers said in a booming English voice. Owen recalled the English myths about trolls under a bridge.
“Pleased to meet you Malachi.” Owen said. Peppers’ hand closed over his and covered it entirely. Owen tried his hardest to avoid staring at the troll’s tusks.
“Make yourself at home, I’m cooking tonight.” Daveigh kissed Owen on the cheek and walked to the kitchen. Her steps were light and carefree. Owen marvelled at her.
“You know, the day after she lost her family, Daveigh was this… Whole other person. She smiled sweetly, she cooked, cleaned… Avoided all the photos, knocked them all down. But went on as if nothing had happened. At night I could hear her sobbing from outside the house while I smoked. I’ve long since stopped but… I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to myself how extraordinary it was. Strong to a fault. And then there are days like these. Where the weight is off her shoulders and she can walk carefree. I think I have you to thank for that. I’m not going to lecture you on how this won’t ever last. That’s another day’s conversation. But today, we’re all going to put on a façade and enjoy the peace while we can.” Peppers smiled.
“I was never one much for a façade. I prefer to stare an ugly truth in its face.”
“Why is that?”
“It’s the only way I know how to get past it.” Owen said.
“I can get behind that.” Peppers smiled.
The doorbell rang. Owen didn’t know if anyone heard. “I’ll get it.” He yelled back. Daveigh sweetly hummed approval from the kitchen. Owen opened the door.
And Drake St. Claire stood in front of it.
Owen took a step or two back. Drake smiled and he noticed Owen’s hand instinctively touched the spot where Drake had stabbed him. Daveigh sauntered over smiling until she saw who it was.
“You are not welcome here.”
“Oh, deary me.”
“You slept with my cousin.”
“You did. You sick fuck.”
“What? This is off topic. I didn’t come here to fight.”
“Did you come to stalk my cousin?”
Owen gritted his teeth. He clenched his fists.
“Where’s Alyssa?” He said. Daveigh could hear the growl in his voice as he said it.
Drake smiled. He simply shoved his hands in his pockets.
“Where she needs to be. Owen… I’m actually glad you’re here. I can explain myself to everyone at once. She likes you, you know that? She thinks you’re a good person. Sorry for stabbing you. I get carried away sometimes.”
“You won’t get away with this.” Owen scowled at Drake.
“Save the bravado. Here’s some life-saving advice, Owen.” Drake’s face changed. It was as if something bitter had itself caught between his teeth. But it was more than that… It was actual hatred. “You don’t know anything about my sister, Owen. You don’t understand who she is or what she’s done. And you need to stay out of this world. I’m saying this only once. If you try coming after her, if you try and stop me, Owen, I will kill you. Without a second thought. But…” Drake closed his eyes and sighed. “Once I’ve settled the score with my sister, maybe she can come back. She can live whatever life she pleases. I actually hope she stays here. In this town, at least. Can’t make any promises though. I’m not the bad guy. But that’s something I wanted to explain to Juliet. Who I know is listening from the lounge.” Something fell in the lounge, and Daveigh heard Julie curse under her breath. “I just have a few wrongs to correct. But I’ll speak to her some other time.” Drake turned and walked away.
“If you hurt Alyssa in any way… I don’t care if it’s because of some revenge thing… If you cause that girl any more suffering… Drake… I’ll come for her. And for your sake, you’d better kill me on the spot.” Owen said.
“Be careful what you wish for.”
Owen blinked, and Drake had vanished. He cursed violently at the thin air.