Settling the Score
Sliding out of bed I made sure not to wake Willow. Even though I hadn't told her my true intentions she knew I wasn't meeting Rico at his shop. I had expected her to ask more questions, to put up some type of argument but she didn't. Instead, she had given herself to me last night making me more certain than ever that she was the one I wanted to spend my life with.
Part of me felt guilty about not telling my dad what I was doing. He knew that I was going to meet Rico and I'm sure even he knew what my true intent was but like Willow, he left me to fight my own battles. I had originally wanted to do this completely on my own but Rico would only agree to give me everything I needed if I allowed him to come with me.
We had decided to fly out, Rico had things set up for us when we landed. His connections were still watching Franklin and Dalton so that we wouldn't have any surprises when we landed. Getting dressed I leaned down kissing Willow's forehead before pulling the cover over her naked body. I knew she would be ok while I was gone, my family is like a mini mafia toward each other. You fuck with one you fuck with us all and Willow had managed to make her way into our set.
The drive to the airport was a couple of hours long. I had no idea how this was going to play out and it make me a little anxious. There weren't many things I did spontaneously but this was one thing that even knowing what I knew I felt I was going in blind. Willow was the one who knew these people. Franklin was just taking advantage of her but Dalton was the one who really pissed me off.
Dalton had lied to her in the worst way. I can't imagine how she felt when she had found out. Hell it had shocked the hell out of me. If it was just one thing, if he had just been married, I mean that was bad enough but no he had to be tied in with Franklin. To me, Dalton was the real enemy. Franklin would be easy to take care of, men like him could be bought.
Dalton was a whole different scenario. Sure he had a weakness, his wife and kids, more like his kids. He couldn’t love his wife that much if he cheated on her. At least not in my opinion, no job was worth losing your family. If you weren't ready to be tied down, don't get fucking married. I'd seen too many marriages go wrong because they weren't ready. Look at dad and his first wife, freaking trainwreck.
I'd been nosey and facebook stalked her before. Desiree was hot, she was also conceited as hell and it was evident in everything she ever posted. She rarely posted anything of her kids even when they were younger. It was all about her.
As I walked up to the airport Rico walked toward me. I should have known he would beat me here. One thing about him, he was always ready for anything that came at him. I wondered what he would ever do if Presley threw herself at him. He wouldn't be ready for that. Or would he? Did he pick up on Presleys signs?
"You ready to do this?"
I nodded grabbing the ticket Rico handed out to me." Ready to get this shit out of the way. I'm ready to just fucking breathe."
Rico looked down at me frowning, "that girl stressing you out that much?"
I shook my head, "I just don't want her to stress out about this shit anymore. She barely talks to me about it but I can tell when it bothers her. I don't know man, I am hoping once this is done she will quit running."
"Some girls never stop Maddox. You're taking a big risk doing this. I hope she is worth it."
"I know she is," I simply said.
Rico laughed, "just like your fucking dad. I had the same conversation with him about your mom."
"Yeah, well unlike him I'm not going to let mine get on a plane and leave."
"She won't get on a plane, she has a car right," Rico said glancing down at me.
I elbowed him, "shut the fuck up man."
I wasn't amused by him in the least but I knew he was just joking. I guess people in my family had more in common than I liked to admit. When they loved, they loved hard. Walking through the airport I stayed silent letting Rico lead the way to our gate. I had a lot to think about.
Our flight hadn't been bad, Willow had sent me a text right before we boarded that was a short and sweet I love you. I replied back telling her the same. Rico only rolled his eyes at me shaking his head and I wondered if he had ever felt the way I did about her. Rico was married once, even had a daughter, but it didn't last.
I never heard why, and honestly never thought to ask. It was none of my business. If he had secrets he confided in my dad not me. Part of me wanted to ask him if he had noticed the way Presley acted around him, but again not my business. Still, I kinda wanted to just be like "man I know you see the signals Presley throws you."
We arrived in LA, around 7 am. It was still super early but we had to get our shit together. A guy named Juan picked us up and it didn't take me long to figure out that he had been the one doing most of the surveillance. He drove us to an upscale hotel giving us a key and telling Rico that everything was ready to go.
Rico and I didn't talk as we rode the elevator to our floor and as we walked into the room I felt a little uneasy. I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn't big league. I'd been in plenty of fights but I'd never went after anyone big. Rico glanced back at me, "no turning back now Maddox. You have this. Besides I have your back. You might not want your dad her but you have your Uncle Rico.
"Don't let Presley hear you call yourself that," I said laughing to myself then a little more when he frowned at me.
He started to speak but I held my hand up, "man I need to rest before tonight which way is my room.
"Don't matter, " he said shaking his head and going to pour himself a drink. I was still laughing at the joke I had made wishing I could give him a harder time about it.
There was a small white box sitting on my bed and when I opened it I felt a little chill run down me. Inside held a gun. Moving the box I pulled my phone out and called Willow. We were two hours behind here but I still had no clue if she would be up yet or not. If dad was downstairs making all that racket she probably was.
Willow answered on the first ring, "OMG Maddox you have got to find an apartment or something."
I laughed kicking my shoes off and laying on the bed. "I know baby. We can start looking when I get back if you want. Or I mean we can stay back at mom and dad's till we find a place."
"It's kinda awkward," she said pausing, "I mean having sex in their house. You're a little too rough for all that."
I snorted, "they aren't stupid Willow."
She sighed, "I miss you Maddox. Don't do anything stupid ok."
I closed my eyes, "I'm not girl, I got this."
She snorted, "just hurry home Maddox. I don't like it when you're not here."
"Awe shit Red, "I said laughing, "I'm finally wearing you down."
"Fuck you Maddox."
Laughing I said, "I love you too baby."
"You know I love you but you get on my last damn nerve." Willow huffed at me, "I'm going to Aunt Maureen's till you get back. Well I mean your sisters and I are going to have a girls night tonight but..."
I cut her off, "and don't you believe a thing either of them says."
Willow laughed, "oh they have already told me plenty but I'm sure there is much more."
We talked a bit longer before I hung up and laid down going to sleep. I didn't intend on sleeping so long but when I woke up it was almost 4. Walking out Rico looked up at me, "boy I thought you might have died in there."
I shook my head, "late night last night."
"Don't you know the night before you do some stupid shit you ain't supposed to fuck your girl all night."
I laughed going to grab a slice of pizza that Rico must have had delivered. "Man, that's when you're supposed to stay up all night fucking them."
He shook his head, "not if you're a rookie and you are."
"I'm not a rookie in shit," I said, "this shit is in my bloodline."
Rico shook his head, "being a cocky son of a bitch? True."
It was around 10 when we left to go pay Franklin a visit. Juan had reported that he was in his warehouse office with only two guards. I wasn't trying to fight him but I knew that it could come down to that. For this reason alone Juan was accompanying us on this. If it came down to shots being fired then we would be ready.
We pulled up at the warehouse in the black SUV and was immediately greeted by a man pointing a gun at us. Rico was driving and he did the talking. "We have a business proposition for your boss Franklin. Tell him it's about Willow, he will know."
The guy whistled and another guy approached him nodded then ran inside. My nerves were on edge and as the warehouse door started to lift I wanted to tell Rico not to go in, that this was a trap but I held myself together. The guy we had first spoken to came to the car. "He said he would talk to you Maddox Knight."
Rico and I exchanged glances but I only nodded. Seems like Franklin has been doing his own research. "It's ok."
"Fuck no you aren't going up there alone, "Rico said."
Juan leaned forward, "Maddox they get you up there and something happens by the time we make it you'll be dead."
"Just trust me ok. Money talks."
As I opened the door the other guy approached me, "you have any weapons on you?"
"Do I look stupid, of course I do. I'm not here to fight, let me talk to your boss."I said.
The man in front of me cocked his gun, "you make a wrong move and your dead Knight."
I nodded following the first man up a set of metal stairs. Franklin looked up from his desk as I walked in. "He has a weapon on him."
Franklin rolled his eyes, "and you didn't take it?"
I held up my hands, "look, Franklin. I'm not here to fight with you. I'm here to pay Willow's debt to you off and to ask you for a favor."
"I don't work in favors son." Franklin started.
I walked forward stopping in front of his desk when both guys had their guns aimed at my head. "I have something to give you but you need to assure me these two goons of yours will stop tripping out every time I move."
Franklin waves his hands at the two men, "stand down."
I reached inside my shirt pulling out a Manila envelope I had tucked there. Tossing it on Franklin's desk I waited until he started pulling out money before I spoke. "20K to pay of whatever Willow owes you and another 30K to leave Willow out of whatever deal you have with her dad. It's done. You let him borrow money again that's on him."
Frankling thumbed through the straps of money. "This is a lot of money son. You sure she is worth all this."
I nodded, "if you promise me it's over with her then yes it is."
Nodding Franklin stuffed the money back in the envelope. "You have my promise to leave her out of her dad's affairs as long as she stays out of mine."
As he stuck his hand out I met his shaking hands only to stop it halfway. "I do have another thing I need to handle and I want to make sure there will be no bad blood."
Franklin laughed, "Dalton? I've been waiting for someone to come kick his ass."
As I walked down the stairs I couldn't believe things had gone that simple. Of course, when money was involved it changed a lot of people's attitudes. That 50k was part of the money I had been saving up to buy a house but it could be replaced, Willow couldn't.
Getting back in the SUV Rico looked at me, "so money talks don't' it?"