“You’re not coming with us.”
I overheard Evander lectured his cousin firmly. He detected my gaze and turned around to eye me. Gosh, I’ve never seen him so solemn. “And you, why the hell would you choose that fucked up, shady place, when you knew who was coming with us?”
I rolled my eyes. Evander behaved like a woman on PMS. “Chill out, man. Get a grip of yourself.” I advised calmly, before grumbling lowly, “Nothing is going to work if he doesn’t shut up. He’s worse than my mom.”
“What?” he asked, and my cheeks flared.
I shook my head from side to side. “Come on, guys! The faster we get there, the swifter we settle this shit, and I can get back to sleep,” I prompted and rubbed my face tiredly.
It was freaking 9:30 in the night, and we had to stop at a gas station because of Troy. He had to go for an emergency break, so the rest of us wandered around a convenience store.
“And I thought this was a rescue mission,” I slapped my forehead.
“They say when a man becomes silent, he’s procrastinating, but, when a woman turns quiet—she’s plotting something in her head!” I smirked at Angelique through my screen.
I was lonely, so I called her since no one’s joining me for dinner.
I didn’t care if I was eating in the dining room, with my phone against a tissue box and my mouth filled with food. My biggest pet peeve when eating would be if food fell on the floor and someone eats it. That’s just - gross!
“Sure, but are you trying to come up with smart theories about Eliza?” she half-snorted. “Or, did you mean Darcy was a quiet man because he was a procrastinator!”
We both discussed how to ease up my coursework since we knew that having a guy as a partner would lead us to nowhere.
Hence, why I have Angelique by my side.
She’s read the book before and done some research on it, so I’ve just gotten myself a free tutor.
“Hey, so, could you explain what happened to that call you got earlier? You said it was from Troy, the guy from our school?” she asked and stared curiously. I gulped my fruit juice. “Yes, he seemed to be in a hurry or something. The conversation went from shock to even more unusual!” I claimed.
“Spill,” she commanded as she took out her earphones and plugged them in so she could listen clearly.
“Well, it was sudden. I was busy at the time, and the caller was from an unknown number. I think it was my hunger that caused me to answer it,” I groaned as I took a bite out of the delicious pudding Colby had prepared.
“He said he needed my help,” I shrugged slowly.
“For what?” she asked in bewilderment.
“He won’t tell me until we meet in person. He also told me to get ready for anything,” I groaned, perplexed. “And before you ask, I have no idea what that meant! I told him, ‘I’ll think about it’ and ring him after I ate.”
“My lord, seriously?”
Troy had rang me for a good 5 minutes and didn’t bother to explain the subject. The only thing I knew was that he wants me to meet him at Café Meraki, and discuss the issue with a bunch of other people.
“And at this time of the night? I’m not bothered to even get out of this house, let alone drive halfway across the city,” I whined as my plates went into the dishwasher.
“W-Wait! Isn’t this a tad bit suspicious?” she asked. I stopped in my tracks.
She was right. Unless...
“Did he mention any particular names?”
“He didn’t. It’s frustrating me. Let alone mention what the problem was!”
“Oh, dear...and I thought I was beginning to have a thing for him.”
“What?” I piqued an eyebrow. Angelique gave a flushed face.
Oh, I see.
“By the way, is Jace at your place with Ivan, by any chance?”
“No. I told you that I’m alone here.” I deadpanned. “Why do you ask?”
“Because I haven’t heard or seen him all day! He didn’t even come for lunch.”
“Ivan’s the same. I thought he was at your house...”
“They’re gone!” we both figured simultaneously. It wasn’t the first time both idiots were screwing around. The last incident occurred when they tried to sneak into school to grab their test papers for the final exam the next day, and boy, were there a heck load of flashing lights.
“Where do you think they are?”
“I don’t know, but I think we’re about to find out,” I say, slowly, as a notification made its appearance. “I’ll call you back. Get ready within 30 minutes.”
“Gabriella, what are you on about?” she frowned.
“An old friend happened to have just tipped me right now. I’ll explain later. Bring your car—we might need it.”
“The Fox,” she gasped. Her eyes grew wide, piecing things together. “And...Cyrus?”
I nodded as I chewed my lip.
“Holy fucking crap! I think I know where we’re headed. I’ll see you there then.”
Instincts told me that I won’t be back till the next day, so I packed a few items for the night ahead.
“My God! What was Ivan doing?” I raged, searching for his number. My foot nearly got caught in between my untied shoelaces.
“𝚂𝚘𝚛𝚛𝚢, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞’𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚒𝚜 𝚞𝚗𝚊𝚟𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎. 𝙿𝚕𝚎𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚢 𝚊𝚐𝚊𝚒𝚗 𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚛.”
I dialed again. This time, it was Troy.
“Bitch, where is he?” I practically snarled.
“Who-ah! Hold on, who you calling bitch?” he asked dramatically.
“I don’t have the shit for this. Word got to me that Black is onto my brother and Jace. What’s going on?” I demanded as I ran out and into the garage.
Troy sighed and disclosed that he needed help, because of his sister, Vera. Anthony Black had been after her due to a found fetish after she saved him last month.
I could’ve snorted; the man was an animal.
“Damn him to hell,” I hissed as I hit the gas and immediately analyzed the situation. “Meet me in the abandoned construction site. 10 PM, sharp. Make sure Black follows you - there’s no doubt he won’t.”
“I never knew you had this personage, almost sounded like a gangst- what? Did you say you want me to l-lure him there?” he yelled, almost in fear.
“Yes. Any problem?”
“Get yourselves fit. I’ll meet with the rest of you lot at 10 PM, and don’t panic at all costs,” I instructed. He was silent for a solid minute, and I guessed nodded his head. “You better have heard me because I don’t explain twice to egg heads. Ivan is to be with you when you drive there.”
“Keep Verna with Evander. That way, they wouldn’t suspect much. I sense this will happen, but if Ander refuses to come along, there’s no other way than to trust me. That’s all.”
I swiped my fingers across the screen and ended the call before he could reply.
Are you going to meet up with those two?
No, but I am going to scout the area for a while.
Alright, I’m already rolling ahead.
My eyes swept around what I presumed was the Espenzo property. And like they mentioned, he was there. I sneered. It was the location they sent me.
I wasn’t sure about what I felt, but there’s no one to take charge. Troy and his little troop needs someone who’s experienced first hand with the Devil’s spawn, who resided as a New Yorker.
Troy had updated me and was racing off to the directions I told him to follow. Right on queue, vehicle lights were riding behind their tail, as planned.
Troy wouldn’t need to sweat. That’ll be needed when he confronts them later.
I was about to follow head but got a call from Evander. “Hello?”
“Hey! It’s me,” he spoke. “We’ve got a bit of an...issue here.”
“What kind of issue?” I questioned as I kept an eye on the gang a few meters ahead. I made sure all my lights were off and wore a mask for backup. They would most likely know it’s me since they knew my vehicle, but it’s worth the chance. I planned to enter last and observe the scenarios that might occur before surging in.
“Uh, Troy...” Evander was hesitant for a moment. “He stopped by a gas station. I think it’s something he ate.”
I was flabbergasted.
“Pull over, now!”
I heard an unattractive groan coming my 12 O’Clock and faced it.
My scowl happened to be present when he appeared, and I wasn’t in the spirit. The cousins were still bickering in the background.
“I’m never eating deep dish again for lunch in such a hurry. My stomach just went up to heaven and back to hell,” he bitterly complained as he held his lower abdomen.
I cringed. “Where’s the rest of ’em?”
“No, I mean the other kids, you moron!”
“Here,” they answered as the four emerged from different directions and crowded around us. I eyed Vera, causing her to shrink back.
It’s out of habit. When I think more logically, my eyes tended to pierce at everyone.
“You’re coming with me,” I announced, unlocking my Jaguar, confusion labeled on everyone’s faces. Without looking back, I said,” Verna Espenzo’s traveling with me. The rest, ride where you formerly were.”
No one opposed.
My mind was too absorbed to care about what they thought about it because I was too focused on getting this mistake solve. It was like I was holding a barrier on purpose to prevent me from seeing everything else - making me blind.
Without wasting time, Ivan opened the door of Evander’s car and plopped into the front seat. He probably wanted nothing to do with my claws.
I looked at Jace, and he too followed Ivan’s tracks. I shut my door and brought my pet to life.
A sudden knock emitted against the tinted screen beside Verna after she got in hesitatingly. She pulled her window back.
“Please, go easy on her.” Troy quickly pleaded and made a final glance at her before dashing off.
“Tsk, what did he think I was gonna do? Swallow her?” I grunted, peering at his sister, who had already clutched onto her belt. At this rate, the number of times my eyes rolled per day is alarming that it would finally make them make their way into my skull.
I rolled her window up and left a little crack for fresh air.
Gradually, we had reversed safely out of the parking lot, that is until someone jogged directly in our way and practically crashed into my hood. I immediately hit the brakes.
“What the fuck, dude? I almost hit you!” I shouted as I got out and into the freezing weather again. It was that blockhead. “Eve, did you hit your head a few minutes ago? What on earth made you think running into a reversing vehicle was a goddamn brilliant idea?”
“I’m...sorry,” he panted. “I’m taking my cousin home. I can’t risk her getting involved in this trap.”
“I’m not going,” Esperanza snapped, startling him, while I stared in dismay.
“She’s a vixen,” he spoke. I didn’t know what to say, so I folded my arms.
She smiled sheepishly. “I apologize for that. I am quite sneaky at times, so people don’t notice when I come to stand next to them. Even my cousin,” she chuckled, hitting his left arm.
“Now, that’s impressive,” I commented, and her lips grinned. “However, it’s almost 10 PM, and Angelique is probably waiting for us. But no- we stopped here.”
“I’m not going home. Verna needs me here, and besides, it would take ages for Evander to travel back and forth,” she stubbornly blasted at her cousin, who gave a disagreeing look.
My face turned bleak,” I thought you guys were done arguing.”
“Were, but I changed my mind again,” she said. “My parents would have my head since Ander hadn’t still told them that we were having a fake sleepover at Troy’s house. Do you think you can escape mom, Ander?”
He scrunched his nose and seemed like he couldn’t decide what to do. “That’s why I came to you. What do you think?”
Silence filled in as they both turned to me.
“Uh, he means you,” Vera whispered from the side.
“Huh?” And then it hit me.
Had he asked me for advice?
I looked at him as if he grew a second pair of eyes. “I don’t know. It’s your disputes.” I told him honestly. “But if you’re blank, I would let her stay. The less trouble and ruckus, which isn’t needed.”
“Inform the parents while we hit the road, now come on! Get your asses back to your seats. I have a life too, you know,” I resolved sarcastically and shrugged comfortably into my car. “You could’ve just rung me instead of risking your thick head to complain about this, jeez.”
They both were dumbfounded.
“We’re wasting time. Let’s get a move on.” When they still hadn’t reacted, I made a gesture for them from my seat to move out of the way as I reversed again.
Soon, two vehicles were rolling in behind me as we kicked the highway.
I glanced down at Verna, who seemed to be deep in thoughts as I drove us to our destination, expecting to figure the face of this whole façade. I sighed as I clutched the steering wheel.
“This is going to be one long evening.”