Soar or Fall?
“So you are saying that you weren’t aware of it,” I asked, trying hard to maintain a steady voice while all my senses wanted to blaze Xavier. “That Malcom was part of Brandon’s clan and his you, his own son was unaware?”
Xavier held his head between his hands, nodding. I was far from believing that his father’s act was unknown to him. I may have been living under a rock, thinking Brandon tried taking me down without any inside help. But Xavier, he should have known better.
“Roger, please,” Arin moved around, tapping a pen to her jaw. Her mind was on a different front altogether, thinking of something to counter sue, Brandon. It was I, who was livid upon hearing Xavier’s truth.
“What do you want me to tell you?” Xavier asked. “That I knew and didn’t tell you? I swear Roger, I didn’t know.”
“Bull,” I scoffed, walking away.
Xavier moved closer, walking me out of the room. Although a part of me wanted to shove his hold away, I knew better than to make a scene in my own house. Arin was preoccupied with her lawsuit plan to bother to join us.
“I don’t believe a word you say, Xavier. I don’t. And I know...” I moved close to him, whispering. The boil I felt inside of me, the hatred for my father and the turmoil Xavier’s words created was enough for my teeth to turn into dust. “You like Arin. I know you want to have her for yourself.”
I knew better than to lose control at this crucial moment. Xavier had always been the man who helped me with everything but his one act of betrayal caused me to doubt his all precedential work.
With a heavy voice and a heaving chest, Xavier gritted his words. “First off, I don’t like Arin, I love her. And second, I would never think of stealing her away from you. I am not blind to see that she is madly in love with you.” Falling back on a chair, Xavier held his earlier positing, holding his head between his palms. “I know I screwed up. More than you, I screwed up with her. Arin trusted me and I broke her trust. And there isn’t much...”
His words stopped. When I peeled my gaze off the ajar window that gave me a sense of calm and looked over Xavier, I witnessed his shoulders move up and down. I may have been angry at him but there wasn’t much he could have done to mitigate the situation. Also, only after being with Arin did I realize what she meant to me. She clearly meant more to Xavier for him to feel so heavily about his actions.
The truth in his tone and actions spoke in his defense. I couldn’t help but pat his back, sliding beside him.
“Listen Xav, I was harsh on you because of what Brandon tried to do at the court after we won the first round.” He looked up, frowning with his eyebrows. Mouthing a what, he let me continue. “That vile being told Arin that I raped Stella.”
“But you didn’t.” Xavier defended. “She made it up and the case was withdrawn.”
I nodded, sighing. “But till then, I hadn’t told Arin about it.” Clearing my throat for my thoughts, I straightened. The fresh air from the window made me determined to not go down without a fight. “That’s what I am trying to tell you. You might have been played by Malcom just like I was, by Brandon. So all I am asking is that you be careful and ensure that anything suspicious you see between them, do tell us.”
Xavier bobbed his head, giving me a side hug. When Arin rushed in with a legal pad in one hand and stacks of papers resting on her laptop on another, we both watched her in amusement.
“There you are,” she looked at us before sprawling on the carpet. I stood up to let her sit but the hard worker that she was, her eyes were already ignorant of the basic necessities and concentrating on more important tasks. “So for now, we know that Brandon knows a thing or two about the deepest of the things that you did,” she pointed her finger at me.
A nod from me made her continue. “And you,” she pointed to Xavier. “You were not aware of the whole Malcom angle right?” He too resonated with my reaction.
Arin fell silent again, watching her laptop screen. The whitish hue reflected through her darkened eyes. All the love in the world aside, right now, I was feeling like being her biggest fan. The way her mind worked, tossing pages, scribbling notes, I was sure that this was more than just a case for Arin.
“Baby, tell us what you were saying,” I asked, looking at her furrowed eyebrows.
She looked up from the screen with a smile on her face. Since the time of my arrest, I haven’t seen her smile. She carried a worrisome expression all the time, crinkling her eyebrows. Even when I was back, she wasn’t her usual self. But now, for a minuscule of a second, it felt like everything was fine.
“I think there is more to it than Brandon and Malcom, Roger.” Xavier and I shared a look at her words. We were sure that Arin trying to solve the mystery between the men resulted in some cross connection nerve fluctuation for which she needed to take a long relaxing sleep. When she waved her hand and smiled, I was hardened on that surety. But she countered, “I can show you.”
She moved up the carpet, tilting the screen towards us. Arranging papers on the table in front, Arin scrolled through her phone.
“These are the payment, miscellaneous, of course, that is given to charities and such by Oswald.” With her finger scrolling through the screen, her eyes lit up. “Every month, a chunk of payment is sent to a charity called BAM.” I watched her move across the floor, practically hopping on her feet.
“Ya, Arin. We do a lot of charities. Dad looks into all that.” Xavier said, scrolling through the screen.
With a swift turn, her hair fell on her face. A part of me wanted to forget all the worry and hold her for the way she played suspense for us.
“So you would know that all charities which are donated to are maintained in a register. Right?” Xavier nodded. “BAM isn’t a registered charity, Xavier.”
“Companies can donate to unregister charities too, Arin.” I clarified at which she tossed her hair into a bun, inserting the pen to hold it in before hopping two steps towards us. The enthusiasm on her was infectious. It felt less of a lawsuit preparation and more of a guess what game.
“I know,” she waved her hand dismissively. “But BAM isn’t even an unregistered entity, Roger. It’s a one-man company. And the man’s name is...” she waited, tapping the table for a drumroll. Xavier looked at me with confusion swirling in his eyes.
“Brandon Agustin Murphy,” I whispered the answer. Brandon’s full name, the initials of which he was using under the garb of siphoning money from Oswalds.
Xavier, who after receipt of this new information walked around, tilting his head and opening his mouth. Not only was his dad caught helping Brandon, but there was also actual proof of it.
I was able to understand the predicament he was in. I suffered the same when one day, open reaching home from school, I was told that my mother has succumbed to the injuries Brandon inflicted on her.
“Xavier,” Arin called him out. He stopped at his steps, inhaling deeply.
“Tell me everything about him, Arin. I want to know everything about the man I thought I could trust.”
Arin looked back at me. When I delivered a confirmatory nod, she moved ahead and showed him some papers. Xavier’s eyes scrolled through each document with precise halts whenever he saw something important. After looking up, he nodded and walked out, leaving me confused.
“What was that?” I asked. She moved closer, plopping beside me. Her hand intertwined with mine. Raising it to her lips, she ran my knuckles over her soft plumpness before looking back.
“There are things, Roger. Many things that if true, could help bring Brandon down.”
Arin patted my hand again, sighing. “It’s all guesswork, Roger. For now, let me see if it’s true or not. If I come to know of anything, I will tell you.” She moved her hand to a bunch of papers and placed it on my lap. “Sign it.”
Her commanding voice asked me. I looked at the title. Turning to her, I wanted confirmation. We were going to take a plunge. It might kill us or we might survive but by god, there would be bloodshed.
Signing my name across the papers, I was letting Arin take over the business and work till the case was over. All executive decision would be hers. Brandon wouldn’t know we were playing the game our way. The game, he started since murdering my mother.
Do check out The King Killer, a dark mafia romance if you still haven’t.
Trust me, you’d love Valentina and Antonio.
Val is a ruthless assassin who ain’t scared of the mob-boss and isn’t a meekly suffering girl like in most books. And Antonio is an asshole boss who does everything in his power to make her suffer, including sending her as a scapegoat to his biggest enemy, just to ensure he can be seduced.
But the best part, when two ruthless burros fall in love, its a must read right there...
Hope you check it out...