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Chapter Twenty-One

Ekon and Garrett lightly spared in the training area on the lower level of the warehouse, surrounded by Jeremy and another tall man. His leg had gotten better over the past two weeks and Ekon had offered to start him off. The cast was removed and his motor functions were beginning to return.

“You’ve been handling the leg well, by next week you should be good to handle a full throw down” Ekon smirked.

Garrett shrugged nonchalantly and resiliently limped toward a bench.

Jeremy continued the sparing with Ekon in between chats. The two had gotten a bit closer since their first fight and Ekon respected him just as anyone else. They exchanged fists for a few minutes until Ekon caught him off guard with a right hook.

“You’re really getting this stuff man,” Jeremy laughed.

“Why are you here though,” Garrett curiously inquired.

Ekon eased his stance and lowered his fists.

“My family was murdered two months ago,” he stated flaty. He still wasn’t good at talking about it but it hurt less now that he was making efforts to find their killer. “Marcus offered me the chance to make a new life, seek revenge if I want to. So I took it”

Garrett shook his head in understanding.

“I see...how nice of him”

“Why are you here?” Jeremy asked Garrett.

“Well...Marcus saved my life numerous times in prison. I wanted to return the favor. Simple”

The guys nodded.

“Well, I’m here because he cleared a debt for my family. He’s done it for a few other members too. In return we pledge our lives to the gang and take the oath. I haven’t really come across any negative energy so the boss is fine in my book,” Jeremy explained.

Everyone had their reasons and their own convictions.

“Raise your hand a little higher,” Daniel instructed. Ellen hit him with her elbow in the stomach and combined it with a punch to the face. Daniel lost his balance and she went in for the kill with a spin kick and caught him in the crotch.

“Oh my god!” She screeched with laughter. “I’m so sorry, I expected you to block”

Daniel painfully gripped his genitalia’s and groaned.

Edward slapped his knee and bent over, howling with laughter. “I now see the feminine energy you were talking about”

Daniel managed to give him the finger while waiting out the pain to pass.

“I’m sorry Daniel” Ellen genuinely apologized and helped the man to stand. Over the past week they had a better chance to talk and make progress in understanding each other. She listened to him and agreed that Marcus was also an obnoxious mess but she reminded him that he was special too.

Daniel slung a hand over Edward’s shoulder and helped him into the house.

“Besides my groin crying for bloody murder, you learn fast. I’m proud,” Daniel cheered.

Ellen clapped. “Thank you. I try my best”

Edward congratulated her as well. After promising to celebrate later, he assisted Daniel down the hall to clean up. Ellen watched them off before she turned into the living room. Without warning, she collided with a wall and she felt herself going backward.

“Watch it,” Marcus’s gruff voice came. His arm circled around her waist at the same time and pulled her up against his hip.

“I didn’t hear you,” she mumbled.

Plastered on his side she could feel the swiney muscles bulging beneath his blue sweater. He was also sporting jeans and sneakers. As she trailed the length of him with her eyes, he unconsciously did the same. She was casually in black tights, a mesh blouse with a skimpy white camisole and white socks. He especially stared at her chest a bit longer than he thought he would. Ellen slowly eased herself from his grip.

“Training is coming along well,” he tried for conversation. He still wasn’t capable of conversing with her. She was still a mystery to him (and even more an angel). Last week had been rough having her console him and swearing the oath. A temporary contract had been drawn up as well and she applied her signature.

“Yes, smoothly,” she smiled.

He felt himself melting just staring at her smile. It unnerved him and made him hard at the same time. Ellen blushed.

“I’ve been meaning to talk to you though,” he turned to business. “About your parents”

Ellen fixed her top and followed him down the hall. He had an office set up over the course of the few days since he had planned to keep guard at the house. For some reason, he felt protective towards her, even though it was obvious she could handle herself enough.

“If you were able to fight those guards two weeks ago, how were you not able to block Edward?”

Ellen thought back to when Edward had cornered her in her apartment. “It was unexpected...In a few seconds he had me out...this was different.”

Marcus understood what she meant. Besides, no one was usually able to take on Edward when he was in killer mode. He directed her to a plush chair and then took a seat behind his desk.

“If we send you back when this is over, you need someone to vouch that you were forcibly taken. The DA is going to try and pin this on you.”

Ellen listened with a sick feeling in her stomach.

“I figured you’d say that but I don’t know if my parents would even pick up the phone. I haven’t spoken to them since I started college...”

Marcus folded his arms across his chest. “That’s why I spoke to them this morning”

Ellen jumped out of her seat. “Wait, what? How?”

Marcus chuckled at her disheveled state. “I threatened them that I would keep you here with me unless they got the DA to drop your charges. Your dad should be in Miami by tomorrow to address your involvement.”

Ellen sat back down and breathed.

“Everything is okay. I trust they’ll handle it accordingly”

She mutely nodded with a smile.

He really was going to lengths to ensure she was safe. She appreciated this from him and everyone else around her. Edward had also changed his attitude towards her, mainly she knew because she protected Lily. That little girl was his life! She stood up and walked around his desk. Marcus also moved to stand and met her halfway.

“Thank you, really” she sniffed with small tears.

Marcus gave her a full blown smile. “Your welcome”

She suddenly reached out to hug him and he tensed. He felt her arms connect behind him and her tears started to soak his chest but he didn’t reciprocate. This was new territory. Sure, he’d had his fair share of women but all were one nighters, none to hug and cry. He waited until she was good and she released him with a sweet smile of her own.

“I’m sorry. I was overwhelmed”

He agreed the good news had weight and decided to let it pass. He followed her out of the office and back into the living room. T and Rod were just coming in when the two noticed each other.

“We’ve got news”

Marcus raised a brow.

“Get Edward. He needs to hear this as well.”

Ellen took that and went to get Ed from his room. He came out with Daniel limping behind him.

“Rod’s back” she informed.

“Sounds like some good news”

Daniel slapped his shoulder with a free hand and raised to his full height.

“Finally, I was wondering how much longer I’d have to train you,” Daniel teased at Ellen. “I can only protect my balls for so long”

Ellen micmicked kicking him again. It was to be a joke but her foot actually connected with his crotch again and he slouched to the floor a second time.

“Just leave me here,” He cried.

Edward dragged Ellen away.

“I think you might just kill him instead of the Aryans” He joked.

Ellen’s face resembled pain and she whined lowly. “I’m so sorry Daniel I won’t do it again”

Daniel stayed crouched on the floor in a ball, clutching between his stomach and his legs. “Find your happy place,” he chanted.

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