I unlock the door, after retrieving the spare key from the plant pot kept beside the backdoor. Walking inside I open the door wide to allow Alec to enter the cabin. His posture is tensed as he looks around the cabin searching for any threat. I mentally roll my eyes at his action, because for me this place is the safest in the entire planet besides my home. The possibility of any threat present here is almost next to impossible.
If you don’t consider me as a threat.
I am still not very comfortable with him being here, but we don’t have many options. Especially, when my bladder is on the verge of exploding and there is no way that I am going to answer nature’s call in open nature.
Walking further inside the cabin, he looks around taking in his surroundings. It is weird even after whatever has happened I am not least bit scared of him. I still feel that I am safe with him.
“It is my parents’” I tell him as he walks towards the window which is facing the backside of the cabin overlooking the lake. He simply nods as he shrugs off his jacket and places it on the couch near the fireplace.
“This is where you often come.” He states looking at me.
“Yeah.” I look down and nod, “Here I feel I am not alone like they are still with me.” I slightly frown when I tell him, thinking why I have shared this with him.
“You can make yourself comfortable.” I shrug as I gesture around the living room, “I will be right back.” I balance on my one foot, taking off my heel with one hand, then I remove the other one.
Changing into pajama pants and a tank top, I throw a sweatshirt over my head which reaches my mid-thighs. After washing my face to remove the make-up I make my way back towards the living room to find him talking to someone on the phone in a harsh tone.
Without disturbing him I silently go into the kitchen to fix something to eat. While in my head many questions are running, but I am never someone to push someone for answers so I don’t ask him. Clearing of the throat, makes me turns my head towards the kitchen door, where he is leaning.
“I guess, there might be a lot of questions that you want to ask.” He pushes him off the door and walks inside the kitchen.
“You guessed it right.” I nod as preheat the oven to bake some potatoes.
“Then why haven’t you asked them, yet.” He looks slightly uncomfortable.
“I am not going to force you to tell me something which you are not comfortable to share.” I sigh, “I will wait till you trust me enough to share it willingly with me.”
“However, just for the sake of peace of my mind.” I wrap my arms around me, “You are not involved in any criminal activity... you are not a murderer, right?” I hold my breath as I wait for him to answer.
“No, I am not any criminal nor I am into something illegal,” he says without even blinking an eye, the truthfulness in his tone puts my nerves to ease.
“Okay.” I nod then take out some frozen chicken from the freezer and put it on the counter to let it thaw. As I take ingredients to make chicken and rice casserole.Because after all this I just need the comfort of some good proper food.
“I have enemies.” He sighs and from the corner of eyes I watch him massaging his neck, “Running a fight club comes with a danger, too.”
I don’t speak, but nod my head to let him know that I am listening as he continues.
“There are other underground fight clubs, which are into all sorts of illegal business.” He stares at the ground, “Our club is a threat to them, as most of the investors prefer investing in our club. Some of their fighters also left their club to join ours. Because no one wants to live with a sword hanging on their neck, while constantly hiding from the police.”
“We give them protection and help them live a respectful life. Some of the fighters even make it to professional fighting, they are that good.” His tone says how much he is proud of them.
“Earlier they never had an option to quit fighting, but with us, they are free to leave the club whenever they want. Some fighters don’t prefer to fight anymore, but they help in training new fighters.” He exhales a long breath, “However, it is still not safe, because they are people who after me.”
“Let’s just say, even running a legal business is a dirty business.” He chuckles darkly.
“I never want anyone to know about you because I want to keep you away from all this mess. You associating with me makes you also a target. I don’t want you to suffer because you are my friend, but at the same time, I am too selfish to let our friendship go.” His hand goes into his hair and pulls them, “When you told me you don’t know me, strangely I was relieved because you brought normalcy to my life, which is missing. I don’t like to mingle with people because I can’t trust anyone, but with you it is different. I feel like a normal twenty-one-year-old guy, not like someone whose life is full of risks and threats.”
“Our friendship means a lot to me, Avery.” He sighs looking into my eyes and swallows.
“But see, because of my one reckless mistake, something could have happened to you.” Guilt seeps into his words.
“Alec, you cannot control everything.” I turn to face him, while his eyes are fixed on the floor, “You didn’t know all this could have happened, so don’t beat yourself over it.”
“I did know that you are not safe with me.” He looks at me with a broken look.
“Safe?” I scoff, “There is no as such thing as safe. No one is completely safe, ever.”
“What is the guarantee that we are safe here?” I arch my eyebrow at him, “What if the gas leaks and stove burst? And this whole place burns down into ashes.”
“You, me or anyone don’t have control what is going to happen, so it is foolishness to think that everything will work according to us.” I place a reassuring hand at his arm and smile.
Relieve washes over his face, but I don’t know why I feel like there is more than he is willing to tell. But I don’t say anything because sometimes I read into things, for no reason, more than it is necessary.
“Alec, I have to tell Pops, whatever has happened.” I tell him with finality, “I can’t hide this thing from him, because it is difficult for me to keep secrets from Pops.” Even if he tells me not to share anything with Pops, then also I am not going to listen to him. Because this something serious, which I have to tell Pops.
“I will not stop you from telling him, but no one other should know about this.” He nods his head, “I can’t risk others knowing about our friendship, as it can bring more trouble to us. And I can’t live with the thought that you are not safe because of me.”
“Okay.” I smile.
“I never knew that you can cook.” Alec looks surprised when he brings our plates to the small dining table at the corner of the kitchen.
“There are a lot of things about me which you don’t know.” I shrug taking a seat across him.
Soon the only sound coming is from our cutlery as we both are focused on eating our food. I don’t like to divert my attention from my food, so I prefer eating in silence to thoroughly enjoy my meal.
“Thank you for the dinner,” he says after the dinner, as I put the dishes in the sink, “It was really good.”
“Your welcome,” I say over my shoulder as I start washing the dishes. He joins me, as he dries the dishes while I wash. We start talking about random things while doing the dishes. Strangely, everything is so normal, it doesn’t feel like this is the first time he is here.