21. No More Lies
I woke when I noticed a sudden drop in the room’s temperature. Slowly, my eyes blinked open and I frowned at something heavy resting on my shoulders. Glancing down, I saw Vanessa. She was asleep and from my quick scan around the room, so were most of the people. Goliath sat on the other end of the room— directly opposite from where I was. Finding me awake, he jerked his chin in acknowledgement before looking at Patricia. And like Vanessa, she was asleep too.
What time is it?
I glanced at the clock and it read 10 PM. We’ve been in the hospital for hours.
“Crey,” I said and Goliath was quick to respond.
“He’s out of surgery,” at that answer, I looked at him expectantly. Mostly or the worst. Face unmoving, and in an almost laughable dead-panned voice, he continued. “He’s a tough bastard. He’s gonna be okay.”
I blew out a long, heavy breath; one that could rival the relentless wind of a hurricane. Goliath’s chuckle travelled through the waiting room and I looked at him with raised brows. “What?”
He shook his head. “Nothing.”
I was about to respond but from the corner of my eyes, someone caught my attention. Turning my head, I saw Honey standing by the vending machine, bending down to grab a couple of chocolate bars. Her boys flanked her sides and she offered the bars to them. Soon she headed my way and I was surprised she didn’t notice my stare.
I took a quick scan of her face. Instead of walking diagonally into the waiting room like most would, she travelled my way in an almost zombie-like state. Her eyes were red and puffy from hours of crying. Her hair was in a dishevelled state; half of it was in a lopsided ponytail while the other half flayed around loosely from its tie.
I hated seeing her like this. She didn’t deserve it and neither did her boys.
Before she could walk past me, I grabbed her hand.
“Hey,” I said softly. Honey paused, and watched me over her shoulder. Something broke inside her. The tears returned and her eyes grew glassy with grief.
“Come here, girl.”
Honey didn’t resist when I pulled her close. Wrapping her in my arms, she collapsed into me, facing the door while being careful not to wake Vanessa. It didn’t work as she stirred. Seconds later, her eyes opened
Honey noticed me watching Vanessa as she glanced over her shoulder. “Sorry for stealing your man.”
I laughed and so did Vanessa.
“It’s okay,” she responded, leaning away to sit properly on these damn uncomfortable chair. “Tomorrow I’ll steal him back.”
I smirked while listening to their conversation. I turned to the boys, Trevor and Michael.
“You okay, Trev?” I asked. He nodded without looking at me, looking at whatever was on his phone. Displeased, I turned to his younger brother. “And what about you , Mike?”
He answered with a smile. I nodded, pleased.
“He’s okay,” I said, not only trying to reassure them but myself.
“I know,” Michael said with so much optimism I wish I could steal and harness for myself. Trevor still didn’t say anything, still on his phone. Always avoiding emotional situations...
I was about to call him out but the automatic doors slid open. Usually, I didn’t care too much about who came in and out of certain places. I wasn’t that type of person. But the man I recognised—the one that we’d spent hours trying to get in contact with—stepped into the waiting room like one of his brother’s hadn’t just nearly lost their life.
I shifted in my seat, causing Vanessa to do the same. Honey noticed a change in my demeanour and pulled away.
“Will you give me a minute?” I asked, dragging my eyes back to hers.
“Sure,” She whispered. Honey moved to the empty seat next to me. I shot to my feet and headed straight for the person I’ve been trying to call all afternoon.
“Don,” Vanessa called but I ignored her.
My entire focus was on Muerte.
“The fuck you’ve been?”
I crowded his space, preventing him from moving any further. People glanced our way. Others were slightly more blatant, stopping to check out the show that was more interesting than whatever was on their phone. Muerte pushed me and recreated the space I’d invaded. His eyes swept the room before returning my glare.
“I was out looking for Crey. I didn’t know he was here and my phone—” he reached into his back pocket, revealing a shattered screen. “—Is fucked. I had no way of contacting—”
“How did that happen?” I snapped, cutting him off.
“It fell. I went into an old building The Serpents used. I went up a couple of flights before it dropped,” he explained.
I narrowed my eyes. “You’re full of shit.”
“It’s the truth, Don,”
“So you went to the clubhouse and didn’t bother calling to let us know you’re alright? It’s after eight, Muerte. Going the whole day without a word and we would’ve thought the same shit happened to you!”
“I had no way to get in touch. How was I supposed to know to touch base? I thought Crey was missing and even though I had no way of knowing, I continued searching the places none of y’all would’ve ever considered looking.”
“You are the president of this club!” I hissed. Without looking back, I pointed to Honey and her boys. “You’re supposed to take care of that girl and her kids. If Crey had been gone, they would’ve been your responsibility.”
His eyes darted over my shoulder, heading towards Honey’s direction before returning to me. “Honey, darling, I’m sorry about Crey. I’m sorry I wasn’t here sooner.”
Honey didn’t respond.
“How did you know we were here?” I asked, folding my arms while waiting for an answer.
“Eventually, I did touch base and your ma said everyone was here,” he explained, glancing at everyone in the room. Looking at me, his scrutiny intensified. “You tryna accuse me of something, Don? Come on, I could feel it all.”
“Besides, who are you to talk about lies,” he continued and his eyes shifted to someone over my shoulder. I followed his gaze. Vanessa. In the next second, I shoved him so hard he almost flew out the door. A swarm of brothers came our way, readying to pull us away in case a fight broke out. After regaining his balance, he held up his hand in a silent command.
“You want to talk about lies?” I taunted. Digging into the pocket of my cut, I plucked out a folded note. The note. I tossed it to him. “Here’s your fucking lie.”
The note hit Muerte’s chest but he caught it before it could fall. Everyone was silent, even the ones that weren’t a part of the club. Slowly, he unfolded the paper. I could see the moment he recognised what it was. If only I had a mind to take picture. His jaw was set and he looked at me. But there was something different. Instead of seeing frustration and contempt, there was acceptance. An almost sort of claim.
“How did you find this?”
“Find what?” Goliath asked, coming to stand between us as if knowing a fight would break out soon. I didn’t look away from Muerte;
“Oh yeah, y’all don’t know,” I said, loud for everyone to hear. “Muerte has another son.”
“Don,” he said, shaking his head.
“No, no, you want to talk about lies. So let’s talk about this one,” I said pointing to the letter— his letter to ma— in his hands. “And explain to the club why you’ve lied to me my entire life, dad?”
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