In The Shadows

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Ch. 6: Thursdays

Grand jeté en tournant and another pirouette.

Collapsing on the floor, I stretched my legs once more no matter how sore and tired they are. My lungs were burning as if I had just gotten in a fight with a person as skilled as I was. It was already past breakfast and there was no doubt mom was going to dig my head in about it once she sees me. I was too busy trying not to think and trying to perfect those two ballet steps that I didn’t realize the time until I stopped and looked at the clock by the door.

It wasn’t that mom was big on me eating my meals (that was more of dad’s persona). It was just that she was more on respecting the guests. Though I would follow on a normal basis, she also knew that when I was here n my studio, no one could ever pull me out of here.

Peeling my point shoes off, I massaged my feet, knowing damn well that it’ll be the most sore rather than my legs. It had been a long time since I danced ballet. The delicacy of the steps was too much for my body that hadn’t been dancing for a long time. Though flexibility wasn’t an issue, accuracy and detail was still a problem that I had to work on. I could just hear my dance teacher, Mrs. Hirand, yelling at me with that harsh voice of hers about the wrong things I had done.

My head snaps up to the door opening. It was Fletcher. “How pissed is she?”

“Not that much,” he answered, sitting down in front of me and taking my other exposed foot, massaging it just like I was. “The Russians saved you basically from being eaten alive. Caio’s left with your cousins by the way. Your dad wanted all of them to make an appearance just for show so they’re there whilst the adults are talking in their office.”

“Hmm,” I mumbled. “So why weren’t you with them?”

“It’s Thursday.”

Realization hits me like a ton of bricks, making me taking my foot away from him. “I’ll just shower and I’ll come with you, yeah?”

He didn’t even have to tell me that I could just rest and come next time. Fletcher always knew that when it comes to Thursdays, I always wanted to go where he would. It had become our own thing. Though I was gone multiple times for unknown days or months, he knew that when I always come back, I would never sit Thursdays out. They were as important to me as it was important to him.

Taking his outstretched hand, I jumped up excitedly as we walked up and to my room, passing maids and guards who greeted us respectfully. When I came to my room, I knelt down my opened luggage and grabbed my usual clothes which was a yellow sundress and sneakers to go along with it. Normally, heels would be matched with it but since my feet are tired, sneakers were the best choice.

He laid down on my bed, telling me that I had ten minutes to shower and I took it as a challenge, zooming inside and hopping onto the water. I didn’t mind that the water wasn’t heated and that it was cold. I was used to any kind of temperature and I silently thanked my trainings for that. Afterwards, I dried myself, dressed myself, tied my hair in a ponytail, and did my three-minute makeup wherein I just do my brows, put on a cat-like eyeliner, and lipstick.

“Come on, gotta tell them we’re going out,” I grabbed his hand and we started bolting to the other wing of the estate, going inside the room without so much as knocking.

Of course, the intrusion towards them was unexpected and they all—the Russians, Uncle Ales, mom, and dad—had their guns raised towards the two people that just went inside and interrupted their meeting. “Oh, come on, you know I’m the only one who comes inside without knocking,” I waved it all away and walked straight to dad, not minding the people. “Fletch and I are going out. Can I not have bodyguards?”

“Mija!” Mom pinched my arm lightly. It definitely hurt like a bitch. “Stop being rude.”

“Oh,” I turned towards them, my eyes stopping at the tallest man that had the brightest golden eyes. I looked away first because I knew if I didn’t, I would have focused on noticing how his lips are curved slightly upwards. A small smile that would make any woman melt. “Hi guys! Sorry for scaring you like that. Just a second and I’ll let you do your witchy business.”

Nolan cocked a brow. “Witchy business?”

I merely shrugged, turning to dad. “Can I?”

“Absolutely not. You know how—” he stopped once he saw my big wide eyes and pout. He started shaking head immediately. “Oh, no. You are not using your puppy dog eyes or your voice going sad with telling me that you love me so much. No. You just came home and we still don’t know if people already knew who you are.”

“Dad, it’s Thursday,” I said and from the look on his face, I knew that it wouldn’t be long until I convinced him. “Fletch is with me. Uncle Ales trained the man. You know that he’s highly skilled and can protect me even if we’re outnumbered.”

“That is true,” Uncle Ales countered, grinning smugly. “He did learn from the best.”

He sighed. Yes! “Fine. But be home before dinner and text every hour.”

“Thank you,” I tip-toed and kissed him on the cheek, then went to kiss Uncle Ales on his cheek too as well as mom’s. “Love you three. Bye!”

I grabbed his arm and started running, the excitement basically making me laugh with Fletcher out of nowhere. It had been a while since I was like this—carefree, zooming out of the house with Fletcher, and even asking dad’s permission to go out. It felt like I was really by my age—a twenty-two-year-old who didn’t have any problems, who just was in their own zone minding their own business without caring for anyone at all.

Fletcher decided to drive, the two of us singing to some Bon Jovi songs out loud, and me hitting the roof with the beat. We even held hands and just belted out “You Give Love A Bad Name” waving it when the stoplight hit red. If Caio was here, he’d definitely sing with us and we’ll just cause a ruckus in the car, laughing our asses off. He was missing and though it was a bummer, it was still fun to be just me and Fletcher.

We arrived at the house not a second later and when we both hopped out, I can already hear the clamping and the laughing coming from inside. I was sure that they heard the car parking because the door opened and I ran once more, into the laughing arms of Eddie and Tori, Fletcher’s parents.

See, every Thursday, Fletcher always comes back here and visit them and because we were together, friendly and romantically, I always come here and enjoy the family time they give me too. They were like my second family, the people that I come to whenever I wanted to get out of normalcy. I know that my family wanted me to have a normal childhood but with their business, normal was still hard to achieve.

But with Eddie and Tori, it was easy. They knew nothing of Fletcher’s involvement with my family (only knowing that he’s working for them at the business front) and it was the best thing because they didn’t treat me like a mafia princess. They treated me like their own kid.

Eddie and Tori laughed, both returning my hug with their bear hugs and carrying me a little bit in the air before setting me back down.

When we separated, Tori placed her hands on my face. “Look at you, I didn’t even recognize you! You’ve gotten so tall and so thin. You need meat in your bones, girl.”

“Oh, hush Tori,” Eddie chuckled, replacing Tori’s hands with his own on my face. “Now, remind me again why I shouldn’t just call up the ol’ priest by the church and have you married to my son now?”

“Dad!” Fletcher exclaimed. Even though it has been a joke since ever, he still has the same pink twinge in his cheeks when Eddie brings it up. “No embarrassing me until we got inside the house, please.”

Three of us laughed at him with Tori waving us over to go inside and me just bouncing on the balls of my feet at the excitement. When I walked inside, I was greeted by the fresh scent of roast lambs. Ugh. My favorite.

I narrowed my eyes at Tori jokingly. “Did you know I was coming? I wanted to surprise you!”

She placed her hands up in surrender. “Blame blabber mouth over there.”

Turning to my best friend, I hit him by the shoulder. “Fletch! I hate you.” Then, turning to Eddie and Tori. “But not you two because you cooked my favorite food ever. Please tell me you guys also have rice.”

“’Course, girl!” Eddie huffed as if taking offense that I even asked. “What do you think, our favorite daughter be here and we’ll have lambs but not have the rice cooker up and ready? Who do you think we are, hmm?”

I laughed. “Alright, alright. My bad.”

“Okay, come on, let’s feed these two.”

I love Thursdays.

It was already by midnight when I came back home. The car we rode in was the one I used whilst Fletcher decided to stay the night at his parents. Normally, I’d follow dad’s orders of coming home before dinner but because I was too engrossed with beating everyone at Uno, it was already too late when I noticed my phone blasting for straight hours now. He eventually calmed down once I explained that I’ll be back but not know when and he let that go, knowing that though he was overprotective of his ‘principessa’, he couldn’t control the absolute love I have of going to Eddie and Tori’s.

By then, I knew they were already asleep or just in their offices trying to take care of business. I’d take a guess that it’s the former because nobody was in my ear immediately when I came back to tell me that it was already so late.

“How was your date?”

I jumped at the voice, clutching my heart as I turned and found the tall, golden-eyed Adonis. It seemed so weird, staring at him whilst he wore jeans and shirt like a normal person. Yet, he isn’t. His blonde hair was disheveled, his five o’clock shadow defined his strong jaw more under the light between us, his naturally pink lips pressed in a thin line that I couldn’t help but stare at. Then, his gray shirt was snug against the muscles on his body. It felt as though one move and it’ll rip.

I didn’t know whether I liked the tailored suit more or this casual look on him. He still looked professional even with what he was wearing. He didn’t look as if he was the owner to the biggest mafia family in Russia, he looked as if he owned the world with his appeal just screaming at those from close proximity of how desire could take over someone if they kept staring.

When I glanced up to those handsome eyes of his, I knew that he knew I was checking him out. I wasn’t hiding it and neither was the smug smirk on his face that said he was satisfied that I was even looking.

He screamed sex, power, and darkness.

All of which are dangerous to those that are too innocent.

I shook my head, giving the smile I had when I was escorting them. It was a good thing me being scared a little from his voice didn’t make me use my defenses. “Not a date. Just visiting some people with him. Did my dad tell you he’s my boyfriend?”

“Yes,” he spoke, that accent of his made his voice deep and raspy, sending shivers down my spine. This was wrong. I wasn’t this affected when I met him for the first time. What was happening to me? “Though I had my suspicions that he wasn’t.”


He took a step closer. “You’re a person affectionate to anyone in public. Surely, you would do the same to the man if he was your boyfriend, no? You hugged but not kissed. Your father also let you be alone with him and from the way he acts with you, I am sure that you wouldn’t be alone with a boy that you’re in a relationship with. Not only that, but you came home alone.”

Each sentence of his, he took a step nearer. I found myself stuck in my place, staring up at him with eyes so wide I knew it wasn’t even attractive. My lungs felt tight, my hands felt cold, and my feet like they were anchors keeping me from running away.

“He wanted to stay. What is wrong with that?” I found myself saying. It was a miracle that my voice wasn’t wavering at all.

Roman’s smirk never fell. “If you were mine, you wouldn’t be alone, зайка.”

Since when did calling me bunny felt so hot?

My breath hitched. My mouth opened to say something but before I could, I saw someone behind him, my eyes locked on the stranger. An all-black suits and glasses that all the guards wore and my instincts ran before my head could. Using all my strength, I pushed him to the side and by the sound of him colliding to the wall, I achieved that goal. Taking my knife in my holster, I let it fly in the air.

“Argh!” The man’s cry from me hitting his wrist was loud. There was no doubt that people would come out and eventually see what was happening. Without wasting another second as I ran, I grabbed my 9mm on my holster and shot at his leg. Arms outstretched, I lunged at the man and brought him down on the ground. The sunglasses and earpiece fell off his face.

My eyes widened. “What the fuck are you—”

“You’ve been too slow,” the green-eyed man glared at me. “and they didn’t like that. You know I’m not going to be the only person they’ll send, Midnight. You’re risking everything for that bitch and you know she’s dead.”

My lips curled up into a sneer. “Then, tell her hello from me.”

And I placed a hole in his skull.

When I gazed up, the Russian Adonis wasn’t alone. Not only was his companions were there, pointing a gun at me, but my parents and relatives were gazing at me with their eyes wide open and jaws on the floor.

Fuck. I fucking hate Thursdays.

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