Chapter 1: The Family Secret
I stepped into the house like always. It was my home after all. But it felt different today. More... empty.
It was a feeling that seeped over me as I closed the door behind me. It snapped closed and I looked around. There was nobody here.
Stepping farther into the house I held back the urge to call out. Something in my gut told me not to. I walked down the long main hall only to find that each room I passed empty. My father and his buddies nor my brother and his friends were anywhere.
My heels clicked as I approached the last door on this floor, my father’s office. It was sound proof with a very thick oak door.
Reaching for handle I took a deep breath before turning it and pushing the door open.
It didn’t open far but I could hear that there were people talking inside.
“You won’t get the power you seek,” my father’s voice said. It sounded rough and pained.
“I will take it. And your daughter too,” another voice said, a very familiar voice, one that made my heart clench.
Something was very wrong here.
“Aaron will never let that happen,” the other man laughed.
“Your son is a thug and won’t be anything more He doesn’t know how to survive in the world we live in, the world we work in,” there was a rustling sound followed by a thud.
“You won’t get away with this,” my father said to the man. His voice sounded stronger than before.
“I already have,” the man said before I heard the three short pops rang out, the sound echoing in my ears.
Everything seemed to stop in that instant. Sound. Time. My heart.
“Pity, Hannah would have loved for you to walk her down the aisle to me,”
His voice snapped me out of my shock and into another.
Tony?! Tony just shot my father!?
I didn’t wait to know for sure. In my heart I knew it was true.
Slipping out of my heels I ran.
I had no clue what was going on. No clue why Tony would kill my father. But I knew I needed to get out of there.
I made it to the car, not stopping to take a breath I so desperately needed.
Fumbling for my keys I dropped them. Damn, what a horror movie thing to do.
I practically launched myself into the car once I got the door opened. Feeling just a smidge safer once inside.
I threw the car into gear and reversed. Thank god no one was coming down the street because I didn’t stop or slow down.
My vision narrowed and my chest burned as I gasped for breath while trying to drive.
When I finally took a breath I was parked in my brothers drive way.
Aaron ran out of the door, Gage two steps behind.
He pulled the driver’s side door open and crouched next to the car. His eyes looked me over as if to make sure I was uninjured.
“What happened?” Gage asked drawing a dark look from Aaron.
“Daddy...” I felt a lump form in my throat as the tears rolled down my face. My breath was coming in short quick gasp as I tried to continue, “he… he’s… Dead,”
I gasped for air before continuing “He is dead,”
Both guys looked at each other as if they knew something I didn’t.
“I think Tony killed him,” I whispered both hoping it wasn’t true and that they wouldn’t hear me.
They both froze. And that’s when I knew something was up. They slowly turned to look at me, both looking shocked and guilty.
“Aaron,” Gage cautioned but he smiled softly.
“Come in the house Hannah, I have much to tell you,”
I slid from the car and followed them into the house. They were whispering to themselves as they lead the way.
Aaron led me to the couch in the living room. I took a seat as Gage left the room.
“Pease, Hannah, I need you to calm down,” Aaron said softly as he took a seat beside me, “If you continue hyperventilating like that, you are going to pass out,”
I nodded and tried to calm myself. My chest was starting to hurt for the exertion of my breathing. I felt like I had run five miles.
Gage returned was a glass of water and handed it to Aaron before taking a seat across from us.
He handed me the glass and I slowly took a sip. As the cold water hit my throat I felt my body start to calm.
Taking a few deep breaths I finally calmed down. My whole body hurt from my head to my feet.
I set the glass down; taking another deep breath I faced my brother.
“What is going on, Aaron?” the words were meant to be strong and stern but they came out as soft and pained.
Aaron glanced over at Gage and Gage nodded. What the hell was going on?
He turned back to my, his blue eyes showing pain and defeat.
“Hannah,” he paused clearing his throat, “our father is a gangster,”
“Wait...” I said as I stared at my brother like he had grown a second head.
“You’re saying that dad was a ... criminal?” I paused for a response but didn’t get one, “like robbing, stealing and killing; criminal?”
Aaron and Gage shared a look before responding.
“Well yes,” Gage started.
“But it’s more like drugs, guns and smuggling,” Aaron continued making my jaw fall slack.
My father... was a... a...
“How do you think dad had the money to send you to private school and still buy us nice things?”
“I... I...” I couldn’t speak as my brain tried to process what they had just.
“Father asked me to join when he found out we were selling pot at school” Aaron looked at Gage for support.
“But wait... how does Tony come into this?”
The shared a worried look before Aaron reached over and took my hand into his.
“Tony... is...well... from a family that does the same thing.”
“He is a criminal too?!” He nodded slowly refusing to meet my eyes.
I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, trying to stay calm.
How could my life be so wrapped up in this and I had no clue?
“Are you mad at me?” Aaron asked me and worried voice, “for not telling you any of this before?”
I shook my head, I was in shock and I could tell that if he had told me all this before I would have probably freaked out 10 times worse. I was barely holding myself together now.
“Aaron... we have to go,” Gage said reaching over and cupping my brother’s shoulder.
“You’re right,” he stood pulling me up with him.
“Go grab some things, and I’ll meet you here in 10 minutes,”
Without question I ran to the spare bedroom that I used on occasion. I grabbed everything I could and threw it all into one of my brother’s backpacks. Grabbing a pair of shoes, I rushed back downstairs.
They were both standing in the living room speaking in low voices. They turned to me as I approached them.
“Ready?” They asked in unison. When I nodded they started for the door. I had no idea where we were going but I knew that with them I would be safe. Criminals or not I trusted these two.