Then You Look At Me

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Guns & Allies

~Baby, I’m right here. I’ll hold you when things go wrong, I’ll be with you from dusk till dawn.~ ZAYN & Sia.

Chapter Theme Song: ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ by ZAYN ft. Sia.

N.B: Chapter contains numerous curse words and profanities.

••

Ansel

“An.” Alex stalks into the room, pushing his hand through his hair as he sits next to me. I put the two capsules of aspirin in my mouth, washing it down with a sip of orange juice. I cannot help noticing the hooded look in his eyes and I raise a brow of curiosity as I remove the glass from my lips.

“Why do you look like a criminal? Have you taken Rain and Riley home already?”

“Yeah, they stopped at the mall to collect Riley’s uniforms. They told me I could leave because they won’t be heading home just yet.”

I nod, setting the glass onto my nightstand. “Yesterday you said you had something to tell me.”

“Yeah, that’s exactly what I came in here to do. Yesterday, Riley told me something concerning Rainey, but we were having such a good time last night that I just didn’t want to ruin the night.”

I narrow my eyes, lifting my chin in interest. If it is concerning Rainey, I am all ears.

“What did she tell you?”

Alex hisses. “It is fucking messed up, Ansel. I think Rainey’s mother’s—”

“Guys, guess who the fuck is sitting in our living room.” Aiden appears at the doorway and we both turn our heads in sync, delivering blank faces of ignorance.

“Ron-fucking-Moretto.”

Alex and I exchange glances before we conjure up from our seats and follow Aiden down the stairs.

Ron Moretto is seated on my living room couch with his legs crossed. His signature arrogant smirk is on his face as he taps his index finger against his knee. My Dad is standing in front of him with coiled arms while my mom is at the entrance to the kitchen, regarding him with disapproval.

“Why is he here?” I ask Alaric, who is seated on one of the mini couches, his lips set in a thin line while he glares at the man in the suit.

“Ansel King.” Ron breathes, straightening his spine. “I was just asking for you.”

“Why are you at my house?” I drop my brows. This man has no idea how much I want his head on a silver platter.

He simpers. “Oh, you were upstairs so you might not have known, I came to investigate something.”

“You need to talk fast and get the fuck up out of my house; I lose patience easily.” My dad bellows, his eyes darkening on the mafia lord.

A long history of betrayal and back-stabbing has led my dad to harbor strong feelings of resentment toward Ron. Years ago, when I was just seven years old my dad lost his four brothers: Ashton, Andie, Allen, and Archer. They had formed a small family gang, naming themselves The King Brothers and had used the design of the snake coiled around the numeral five as their symbol. Ron had mighty envy toward my father ever since he got married to my mom, Melissa. He had a deep ‘love’ for her—still do— and so when my dad stepped up and confessed his devotion to her, he was not happy with that. Additionally, he was quite jealous of the relationship among my dad and his brothers, and that drastically added fuel to his burning flame of covetousness.

And so, he plotted against The King Brothers. They had the biggest drug business in Crossview at the time and Ron had partnered with them, assisting them with getting clients and monitoring the drug distribution. However, despite the monetary appreciation he would generously receive from them his thirst for greed could not be quenched.

There was a gang called The Groundhogs and they were the overseers of the neighboring city; Hillpine Close. The King Brothers and The Groundhogs could not get along and were prohibited from distributing drugs in each other’s city. Ron rounded up some anonymous men and ordered them to rave The Groundhogs’ camp, kill some of their men, and steal their drugs. He managed to get his hands on my dad’s necklace with the title ‘Austin King’ engraved in the pendant and ordered one of the men to intentionally leave it on the site. When Bull—the leader of The Groundhogs’ gang—saw the jewelry that was left behind he automatically thought it to be my dad’s and hence, concluded that The King Brothers’ were the invaders of his camp.

It was my seventh birthday and we were having a small party on our porch. The night was still, and the moon stood high. The neighborhood was unusually quiet but the warmth among us was all we needed to feel contented. After an hour of celebrating, laughing, and having a great time, a blank Honda drove up to our gates. The first M16 that pointed through the window had everyone heading for the floor, but not fast enough as gunshots began to fire rapidly. When the assailants were finished with their mission their car sped away down the distance. My dad got a shot to his shoulder but that was nothing compared to the state his brothers were in.

They were all dead. Lifeless and cold. I remember crying my eyes out while Alaric stared at their bodies in shock, the spiderman mask in his hand spotted with red evidence of their injuries.

My dad had no idea Ron was the one who set him up. It was when he went by his house to deliver the news that he overheard Ron suspiciously speaking on his phone in his garden. My dad stood by the fence to listen in on his conversation and what he heard was enough revelation.

“Yeah…no, they are all not dead. Austin is still alive…okay, good job anyway. The money will be forwarded tomorrow.”

My dad found it hard to believe that the man whom he assisted monetarily and who had sworn to be his friend for life would betray him this way. They had been friends since my dad was nineteen years old, so Ron’s disloyalty and deception were a hard pill for him to swallow.

My dad was without hard-core evidence and so when he confronted Ron about it, he denied it, saying that the individual on the phone had nothing to do with the shooting and was just someone he had asked to run an errand for him. My dad did not believe this, but Ron had already managed to bribe a few politicians and men of high power which made it difficult for my dad to violently retaliate. They all knew the grudge my father had—still has— against Ron, and the district sheriff at the time had stated that if something were to happen to Ron Moretto my father would surely be the first suspect.

It did not stop my dad from plotting against Ron, and he even went as far as to purchase a brand-new firearm. But my mom has always been the peacemaker and so she managed to influence my father not to be violent. She advised him that karma is real, and life has a way of turning the tables. She told him to wait, just a little, and he will live to witness Ron Moretto dying a painful death. You reap what you sow.

But I do not believe that karma will give the reward; sometimes you must become karma. It is good to be good, but does being good pay off all the time? The good always hesitates, petting the wolf on the head until that very wolf turns around and bites them. A good man’s sympathy very often becomes the death of him. Kill before you are killed.

My dad has not been the same since the death of his brothers. He stopped selling drugs and settled into the role of a family man. However, the legacy is still on since my brothers and I have decided to carry on the ‘family tradition.’ Crossview is now overseen by Alaric since he is the prominent drug lord of the city, however, he does not prohibit distributions from other drug gangs in the area. The business is mostly monitored by Alaric and his friends—Max and Drake—since my dad does not like the idea of his younger sons being deeply involved in the business. However, we still lend a helping hand if needs be and assist with the gathering of clients from time to time.

Looking at my dad right now, I can see the deep pain in his blue orbs as if he is also reliving the torturous moment of the past. His fist clenching and unclenching as his veins protrude in his neck. It would take nothing for my dad to snap Ron’s neck, but when it comes to Ron, acting upon impulse would be a death penalty; playing wisely will be a better option. He has many connections and if he should be murdered, he has people who will readily avenge his death.

Ron uncoils his legs and fixes his jacket onto his body, his eyes as dark as the tuxedo he is wearing.

“Which one of you boys have been fucking with my drug truck?”

My dad squints his eyes, his expression hard and livid. “You sure have the fucking nerve to come into my house with your bullshit.”

“One of your boys has been stealing from my drug truck. And if I ever come to know who it is, you all will wish you never fucked with me.”

“No-one is stealing from your drug truck, you fucking moron.” Arden grumbles, scrolling down his phone in sheer nonchalance. Arden is the type to be unbothered in these instances, but it does not stop him from getting his hands dirty if needs be. His goofy side tends to become non-existent when he gets enraged.

“I don’t play around when it comes to my money…and you all should know that.” Ron states, twisting the skull ring on his index finger. His actions and gestures are predictable and so it is easy to discern that he is currently thinking iniquitously. That makes all of us.

“Why do you assume one of us is stealing from you?” Alaric raises a brow. “It could just be one of those loyal men that you share your business with. Keep your enemies close but your friends closer. I mean, you’re over forty years yet you don’t know that.”

Ron points his glare to Alaric who is fearlessly locking his gaze. The two are having an intense staredown before I cut in.

“No-one here is messing with your business; I’d appreciate it if you could get the hell up out of our house. Stepping into our territory is an unwise thing to do; it would be seven on one and your little chauffeur outside will never stand a chance against us. You are not immortal Ron Moretto. And do not think that because you have the state behind your back that we cannot slit your throat right here in our living room. I think you are aware that patience is something that we do not possess. So, while we are still asking kindly, take your leave, or you may jump-start your death.”

Ron smirks, the corner of his eyes wrinkling as he straightens his spine. “See, this is exactly why you’re my favorite. You speak so assertive and sure of yourself. Not everyone can see that dark look deep inside your eyes, but I do. I see the monsters that are hiding in there. I like you, Ansel King, I always have my eyes on you.”

“Kindly take your eyes off my son.” My mom speaks up and Ron smiles, shifting his focus to her.

“Lissa.” He breathes. “I missed your voice. You’re still so beautiful, aging like fine wine.”

“Get the fuck out of here.” My dad warns. “And be careful how you speak to my wife because I swear to God, I will fucking behead you. Then have my sons dump your bloody body at the bottom of the sea so the entire aquatic life can feast on your filthy flesh.”

Ron laughs, rising to his feet. “If you wanted to kill me, you’d do so a long time ago. It is sad that you still think I am the one who killed your brothers, Austin. I hope for the sake of your sanity that you find the killer one day.”

My dad’s eyebrows are pulled down together, his lips pressed tightly in a grim line. I can tell he is itching to finish Ron here on the spot and we are all thinking the same thing.

Ron smiles cockily and pulls out a cigar from the inside of his jacket, tucking it between his fingers. “I hope you all were being honest because if I come to learn that one of you is messing with my money then things will get nasty. I’ll be back in a month; I have something to collect.”

Something to collect. This asshole—

“What the fuck do you mean by ‘you have something to collect?’" I narrow my eyes to slits. “I would suggest you stay the hell away from Rainey. Or the next time you come back it’ll be your death anniversary.”

Ron snickers, lighting up the cigar between his lips. He takes a hard draw, a thick ring of smoke leaving his mouth. “You know, I think I can see why you like her, Ansel. She’s fierce and strong…she’s a useful girl.”

I clench my teeth. “Mark my words, if you dare to lay a hand on her, you will certainly die by my hands.”

Ron smiles. “I’ll bear that in mind, Ansel King.”

And with that he turns away and departs from the house, leaving behind his strong whiff of Cuban cologne.

"Fucking hate that son of a bitch!" Aiden curses. “Dad, please give me permission to kill the cocky fucker!”

“If he’s going to die by anyone’s hands, it will be mine.” My dad pushes a hand through his hair while my mom sighs, looking among us worriedly. “What does he want with Rainey?”

Alaric hisses. “He wants her to join his camp. That motive will be the death of him because if he thinks we will allow him to take her then he has another guest coming. I will skin his flesh.”

I fork my hair back, blowing out my cheeks. The rage is still within me despite his departure, and it is only growing more by the second. “Alex, you had something to tell me.”

“Yes. We should talk in our room,” he answers. “This is confidential information.”

••

Third-person Pov

“Wait…” Ansel shuts his eyes, raising a palm in incredulity. “Repeat that.”

Alex comes to the edge of his spot, one foot perched onto the bed while the other is set on the ground. “Alright. Riley woke up and Rainey wasn’t next to her. She figured she was downstairs and so she went down, but upon approaching, she could hear Rainey telling Jeff to stay away from her.”

Ansel’s eyes are squinted as he stares at his bedroom mat, absorbing every word that leaves Alex’s mouth. He is already livid after the visit of Ron Moretto and at this point, he feels he is close to exploding.

“She approached the kitchen, and guess what she saw? Jeff had his hands on Rainey’s waists, pressing himself against her.”

Ansel shuts his eyes, taking a deep breath. The palm rested on his thigh is now slowly folding into a tight fist. He clenches his teeth, his blood rushing through his veins like a hot wave of lava.

“Continue.”

“Riley said Rainey looked so scared and her eyes looked as if she was reliving a torturous moment. She says she gets the feeling that he is abusing her because on the night we dropped them home from Tate’s party she got into an argument with her mom after she told Jeff to keep his eyes to himself. I do not think it is the first time he has come onto her. We’ve seen how possessive and controlling he can be and how—”

Ansel gets up abruptly, cutting his brother off as he moves over to his side of the room. Alex watches him in bewilderment, cocking his head to the side. “What are you doing, An?”

He squats down, pulling his shoebox from beneath his bed which consists of money he saved from the café and a clean Beretta 70. Mr. Austin ensured to get guns for each of his boys in efforts of not letting the past repeat itself. He believes the ability to protect oneself is everything.

Alex is aware that his brother is the scariest among them all. Ansel is cold and would murder someone in the politest way possible; perhaps wishing them luck in the afterlife before slitting their throat. He knows that Ansel would not have taken this news calmly because even he can tell that his brother loves Rainey; probably more than he may even realize.

Placing the box on his bed, Ansel takes the gun from inside and begins to load bullets into the clip. Alex stands up with narrowed eyes, observing his brother whose orbs are dark and void as he focuses on arming his weapon. His entire stance screams darkness and death and Alex can feel the strong unholy aura surrounding him. The calm and serene gleam that his eyes normally hold is non-existent and his gaze is distant as if he is no longer apart of this world but now an inhabitant of the depths of hell.

“Why are you loading your gun, Ansel?”

Alex is not ignorant of the fact that when Ansel is extremely angry, he does not speak. He has always been a man of few words, but it gets a lot worse when he is infuriated.

“Are you planning to kill him?”

He is still unable to get a gesture of acknowledgement and his body runs chills at how devilish his brother’s countence is. Alex knows things are about to get dirty and so he hurries over to his drawers and pulls out the bottom section, retrieving his gun from beneath his pile of T-shirts. He sticks it behind the belt of his jeans, his eyes now mirroring the same glint of evil his brother’s hold.

“I’m coming with you. Whatever you are about to do, I’m helping you.”

Ansel does not offer a response to his brother. It is as if Alex is no longer present in the room as he tucks his weapon into his waist.

He had already warned Jeff and he does not feel the need to talk further. He told him that if he ever comes to learn that he touched her then he would surely be back to kill him. And everyone who knows Ansel King knows that he always keeps his promises.

Jeff may have thought that he was only bluffing, but if only he knew how serious Ansel was when he made that threat.

No-one under the sun can touch Rainey Slate and get away with it.

No-one.

~


~Baby, I am right here.~ ZAYN.❤️


✨Thank you so much for your support and for sticking with me from Chapter One (Locker Guy) until now🧡It means a lot and I really appreciate it!! Stay tuned for more and if you like my story, don’t forget to hit that heart/like at the bottom and follow me (if you want to lol) so you can get instant notifications of when I post updates and everything concerning Ansel and Rainey💙

Alsooooo, if you want you can check out my short dialogue story: ‘Friendzoned’. It is a quick and light read, nothing too serious.

✨Much luv and stay tuned for more!💛

-Tiffanyluvss❤️

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