Chapter 38 ~ Moving Forward
A few days had passed and Jakobe thought it would be a great idea to farewell my father. Since he was swimming somewhere in the ocean, we couldn’t have a proper funeral; we decided to have a little ceremony on the beach. Ovella held her bunch of purple calla lilies in her hand as the breeze blew gently past us.
“You were the first father I had ever known, you took me in when everyone else had turned their back on me, thank you, Salvatore. I was a broken street rat, you gave me hope, a family, but the biggest thing you blessed me with was Priya. I did not understand half of the reasons why you did what you did but in some, really fucked up way, you gave me direction, a purpose to remain alive when all I wanted to do was end my suffering. Without you, I would never have known what it felt like to feel safe. Possa la tua anima trovare la pace.” (May your soul find peace)
She crouched down releasing her lilies, one by one, into the sea water. I swallowed the lump in my throat as Jakobe’s strong hand sat firmly on the small of my back.
“Papà come hai potuto lasciarmi? (Dad, how could you leave me?) I have wrestled over what I would say to you when I found you, as it turns out, I will never get the chance to speak to you, face to face, so this is the next best thing…” The ocean swirled around our feet as I gathered my thoughts.
“Just say whatever’s in your heart Mafia,” my man’s silky smooth but masculine voice licked at my ear, encouraging me, in his own way.
“I always knew my mother didn’t really care and when the truth came out, my heart died. When I heard what you said to her before peeling off her skin and locking her in that create, it hit home just how much you loved me. God, that sounds so fucked up, but it’s true. There were times in my life that I wished we had of grown up in a ‘normal’ environment, you with a cushy office gig, me, in a normal high school, times where I wanted all of it to stop and just disappear but you always found some way to calm my frantic stress. I’ve always loved you, even though the world perceived you as evil, even though you shot holes through my entire bedroom at six years old because I was terrified mummies were in there after watching that movie and even though you sold drugs, I still loved you. Tu eri il mio eroe, (you were my hero) you made a lot of enemies and paid the ultimate price, I wish things had of turned out differently, I wish I could just hand everything back to you and live my days in quiet peace with Jakobe, who by the way, you would not approve of but is the most incredible man.
“You always said my happiness was the most important thing to you, yet you won’t be here to watch that come to fruition. You were a hard arsehole at times but I’m thankful you trained me the way you did. I will miss your laugh the most, the way you would command a room the moment you entered, the way you fearlessly forged forward through every setback. Your life was not easy, I understand, you went from a harsh childhood to even harsher teenage years, and then to an absolutely dangerous early twenties. You did what you needed too, to survive the harrowing torment you were born into. Thank you, for being such an incredible father even when I didn’t deserve it, I will miss you more than you will ever know. Mio padre, il tuo segreto sarà sempre al sicuro con me.” (My father, your secret will always be safe with me.)
I bend down and allowed the tide to carry the flowers out into the sea, with gentle tears running down my cheeks. He may have done so much wrong in his life, but really? Are any of us innocent? This is the world we belong too, the ones that operate on the other side of the law, the ones to deal out our own form of justice and redemption and the ones who quietly fund the lavish lifestyles, those ‘law upholders’ live in. He may have been a drug dealing murderer but he was also a loving, kind and generous man, a secret no one knew but me. I was surrounded by good people, in a safe environment and had finally found where I belonged through the most tragic of circumstances.
After it was over, Jakobe took us for a long ride on the back of his bike, it was nice, for once, to not be constantly looking over our shoulders, waiting for the next interruption to happen and as the wind whipped at our skin and the vibrations danced between my thighs, I felt… relief. I could finally move on with my life, a future with the man of my dreams.
Night had well and truly set in by the time we made it back to the clubhouse and the rambunctious atmosphere hit us the moment we took off our helmets.
We entered to find club whores stripping on top of the pool tables, kissing each other and then making out with members. Aja was swinging her hips, in time with the beat, behind the bar and Brutus and Ovella were pouring drinks. Leighton and Kitty were huddled in the corner of the booze bunker, in their own little world, watching something on his phone while laughing; we joined Deon and Digger as they sat at a table.
“How’d today go?” Digger asked once we were seated.
“Good, thanks,” I replied with a smile that didn’t quite meet my eyes.
He clasped my shoulder; Digger was a good looking man, not as solidly built as Jakobe, Deon or Brutus but still had a sexy figure, I had no doubt he was just as deadly as them. He kept a cleanly shaven face with light brown, short hair and soft hazel eyes; he still was tall-ish at 5ft 9 but what really set him apart was that he resembled sort of the wiser, more ‘dad’ like figures of The Road Warriors, despite being in his early thirties. “You’re one of the toughest chick’s I’ve ever met princess,” he smiled back at me.
“Get your hand off my woman Dig,” Jakobe playfully growled as Digger chuckled but let go.
I hadn’t realised, until that moment, how drunk Deon actually was, “fuck women,” he spat venomously.
“Has he been like this since the video?” Digger sighed.
“Yep,” I knew his heart was broken but shit, this man was a fucken mess. “C’mon Deon, let’s get you to bed, ah?”
“Fuck of Digger, I can walk my damn self to my own bed.” He slurred, unsteadily meandering round the mass of bodies. Club pussy, naturally, tried to get his attention but his pushed them away and staggered up the bedroom quarters steps. None of us said anything, what could we say?
Boomer joined us a short time later with a very beautiful redhead attached to his arm, her brown eyes flitting back and forth, between stripping whores and whores being fucked, I immediately noticed her apprehension and unease with the surrounding display.
“You don’t notice it after a while,” I commented, drawing her attention and I held out my hand, “I’m Priya, Triggers Old Lady.” She softly took my hand; her shake was like a dead fish.
“I’m Vada, Matt explained how it would be when he brought me here; I just didn’t expect it would be this… this...”
“In your face?” I offered the end to her observation, making a note that Boomer's real name was Matt, hmm, who knew?
“Yes,” she breathed.
“We aren’t all like that, truth is, they want to be here and do those things, it’s none of my business why.”
She seemed really uncomfortable with it, “how can you handle it?”
I shrugged, “like I said, after a while, you don’t notice it. These are good men really, they treat the girls well, take care of them, give them a home and work, you look horrified but you shouldn’t worry, they are here by choice and can leave any time they want, everything they do is by their own choice. So, what do you do Vada?” I had to change the subject; Boomer was looking ashamed about his environment, which I found odd.
“Um, I’m a scientist actually; I work at the labs in the hospital.”
“Whoa, smarty pants McGee ah, shit, what you doing with Boomer?” Digger chuckled at his own jest; Boomer just stuck his middle finger at the man.
“C’mon babe, let’s head to my room.”
When the 6ft 7, beast of a man was out of earshot, Jakobe leans forward and laughs, “ten bucks says he’ll fuck it up by the end of the week.”
“Done,” Digger nods.
“Jakobe, Digger,” I scorn and they both look down in shame, “twenty says she’ll stay,” I wiggle my brows as they narrow their eyes at me for throwing shade at them.
“Fifty, says she’ll disappear by next week, then be back the following,” Flicker, Boomer’s best mate interjects.
“You’re on,” Dig and I speak in unison as Jakobe laughs.
“You come out second best in this situation, you realise that?” Deon sits across from me nursing one hell of a hangover.
“I need a team, one that can remain inconspicuous, no patches, covered tattoos, cars and not bikes.”
“Did you hear what I said?” Deon growled, leaning forward to pick up the pain relief.
“Yes Deon, I heard you but the reality of everything is, I don’t see it like that.”
“Okay Priya, you can have Brocky, Phil B and Rocket. They’re the only ones that aren’t as tattooed as the rest, I want Kitty, mum and Leighton in these spots, closest to us and we can get them to safety first if anything happens.”
“Fine, but I want absolute silence on this; all of them are to keep their mouths shut.”
“Deal, you made contact with him yet?”
I inhaled deeply, “I have, he should be calling back soon but I can’t make him an offer without knowing how much stock there is.”
“Right well then, let’s get to work.” Deon stands up but I remain seated, thinking on how to branch the subject and deciding, forward would be best. “Something else?”
“Yeah Deon, I won’t do this unless you stay sober.” He ground his teeth together, for a minute it looked like he was about to unleash hell on me before he slumped back into his seat.
“Is her brother okay?” I immediately knew what he was talking about.
“Yes, he woke up a few days later and she went off to college, that’s all I know.”
“Have you spoken to her?”
“No, her number she gave me is disconnected; guess it was done by choice.” Techno still hadn’t had a hit on her, but her new track was everywhere, if the world found out about Nevaeh’s club affiliation, I don’t think they would be too happy with her.
“Probably for the best, now that she’s a superstar.” He stayed silent for a bit, just staring off into space. “Alright, I’ll stay sober, you get the product counted and then we’ll continue as planned.”
I nodded and left him there to wallow.
As soon as the door was shut, I came face to face with Jakobe, “why were you in Prez’ office? You in trouble again?”
“Nope.” I side stepped him but he followed, asking me again, why I was in Prez’ office. “New assignment caveman.”
“Priya,” he groaned, before chasing my insubordinate arse to the bedroom.