Enough was enough.
I had to hurry this up before anyone else we care about intervenes, and we would all be in a serious feud.
The tautness of the air was so thick even a bullet would have a difficult time penetrating.
Evander had been arguing in a rush that I couldn’t make out what he said before ending his call and quelled a curious Troy with a look.
“You left years ago,” Anthony spoke as if making a point. He had been waiting patiently for the past 5 minutes, presumably procrastinating. Isn’t that what men do when they’re thinking? “You have no right to stake claims.”
I sweated as memories barreled in. I had almost lost someone during the duel, and that fueled the fire blazing through my veins.
“That’s where you thought wrong, and you’re going to leave her alone.” I dared, crossing my arms.
“Didn’t you hear what I’ve said earlier?” I reiterated. “I’m in the will, and you can’t alter anything.”
“I don’t have time for bullshit,” he sighed in a low voice as he rubbed his untamed hair. “Can’t we just get over this? I know about that stupid will, and I wish I’d destroyed it before that damn man handed it over.”
“You’re too full of yourself, Black. No wonder Ivy dumped you,” I attacked with a hostile attitude. He suddenly paled as his eyebrows furrowed stiffly. The man wasn’t thinking right as his system was full of whatever drug wasted in him. Proving he wasn’t as strong when it came to this. He stumbled around his men from time to time and had to lean onto a vehicle.
“Don’t talk about her,” he slurred.
“I will if I want to.”
“The matter isn’t about that bitch!” he finally cracked, shaking his head violently.
“She nearly died because of you!” I spat with equal venom. His body posture was instantly awkward as the truth spilled out. “Honestly, you couldn’t even come here to meet a former Boss without getting yourself intoxicated. Let alone to your former partner; Ivy deserved someone less arrogant.” The trio next to me went stiff. Damnit, I should be careful with my words.
He was speechless. “Who told you this?”
The Fox and Dutch exchanged worried glances, and for the first time since we’ve met tonight, they had tensed.
I didn’t have a choice and used my last resort.
“It doesn’t take a genius to analyze what’s been going on with you after I left,” I speculated, covering for Cyrus. He won’t be able to find out as I was old friends with Ivy. There were various possibilities. “I don’t know what passed, but you chasing after another girl implies that you both are no longer together.”
The reply back was weak as he grew more and more despondent.
I took a few steps forward.
“No! Gab, what are you doing?” Evander sprang and grabbed my arm, but I yanked it free and continued. His men parted ways and won’t dare lay a finger on me.
“Is that why you wanted to take Vera? So you can start punishing her? To flow all your anger and the regrets you felt for Ivy to another victim?” I pushed. I can sense the guy was itching to leap at me, but something restrained him. His silence was my answer. It was in his character.
And it meant, yes.
¹“Bastardo de mierda!” I crossed the imaginary line between us and slammed my palm onto the hood of his Jeep. I couldn’t believe he acted like a predator, and in all probability, seduce the child to get what he wanted. Whenever Anthony had this anger issue going on in the past, he would vent it on someone. But he took it too far.
Before I could retract my hand, he grabbed it, including my neck, as he yanked me slightly off my toes. I gasped.
My feet were only a few centimeters from the ground, but it felt like I was hovering.
We were now face to face with him inches taller, and his men crowded around us.
He smelt horrible. It was a mixture between whatever he drank, pungent and smelly, combined with his men’s perfume, which I presume, was overused.
“Be afraid,” he urged, cutting my air of without difficulty. My face remained stolid as I allowed myself to grow weak. I had to degrade him.
“Why isn’t she fighting back?” a panicked boy asked. It was Jace.
Daunting shutters bore down to my piercing ones. My mouth curved up slightly; I was no titty. It was shouting challenge as I drilled my judgment right into his.
“Sis!” I heard Ivan call with the slam of the door, followed by many feet.
“Holy shit! Ivan, stay back,” I could hear Angelique shout in alarm. Rushing footsteps tried to get past Anthony’s men, but they hadn’t succeeded, and a familiar thump as one of them landed on the ground. “Let her go!”
My windpipe slowly lost oxygen, as were my lungs when he gave my neck a tighter squeeze causing me to heave. I grew dizzy as my ears rang. Cries muffled, but his beady eyes stayed trained onto me as thoughts barreled behind those angry eyebrows. He wasn’t completely gone.
“Boss,” The Wolf spoke with uncertainty. Anthony, however, won’t let me breathe. I tried to wiggle my legs, but they were unresponsive. “Ant— Boss, she’s turning blu-”
“Anthony...put her...down, fucking narcissist!” Ivan’s agonized scream broke through my ringing ears. I managed to snicker when he loosened his grip. The possibility of me being a sadist was convincing.
The amount of energy I had to burn got me exhausted. Dealing with gangsters wasn’t an easy game to win. It’s either talk, talk, and talk, or ruthless aggression.
The Boss by nature was impassable, and rending down his interiors was the first to tick off. To make the process faster, mention his ex.
Evander broke through the giant men around and grabbed me. My back crashed onto his chest upon impact as I greedily took in air and turned to Anthony, who didn’t bother with the blonde’s intrusion.
With a straight face that I’d use to save her, I let out a deep pant. “Being under me...would mean protection. I...named those who will be under my hand. You cannot touch them. Your family is in debt to me, or...have you forgotten ?”
He disputed angrily, querying how I’d done it under his nose. Links, man. “No. I didn’t want to cause a fight between us, Mareritt, but you’re provoking me to create one.”
“I might be younger than you, but experience is my weapon. I’ve been in the upper game before leaving; I was the Queen before you ever got hold of the reigns.” I reached around for my neck and rubbed it.
I had to finish it, now that I’ve grabbed his attention. His unsober mind was the number one drawback tonight. My hunch was he was having a hard time remembering. “However, unlike your people, I was the opposite. I made sure other gangs didn’t mess around innocents like you did to me.”
“You only became Queen because you quickly became my dead father’s favorite,” his slightly drunk tone had envy scrubbed all over as he snatched the small bottle from one of his men. “He chose you over me!”
“They had no choice but to put me as the Boss’s equal because I had not only saved his family but the organization.”
I could feel Evander’s warm breath against my neck, and his burning skin made my hair stand. Wrapped arms were around my waist to keep me from falling, though I’ve collected myself. I slightly felt awkward because it made me look delicate. “Are you alright?” his husky voice inquired composedly next to my ear. I shuddered with a nod.
“Thank god,” he exhaled, and I tingled internally like crazy.
I wanted to stand by myself, but he refused to release me no matter how hard I tried to get away without the others noticing. His scent filled my nose like a bomb waiting to explode in my nose; unlike Cyrus, he smelled of herbal - somewhere like ginger or fresh mint?
My nose positively stung. I’ve had enough of smelling males for one day.
The atmosphere relaxed when his members suddenly dispersed away and into their vehicles, leaving me confused. I didn’t recall Anthony giving orders.
With a heavy sigh, Fox returned to his Boss’s side—who full-on glared at me.
It finally registered. It was soon going to go down at breakneck speed between the two parties. I only hope.
“I don’t understand whatever that had ensued tonight. Weirdly, I expected a waged war or your men forcefully taking our friend. But this?” Evander succumbed. Anthony didn’t seem to intimidate him. “But, since we’re getting somewhere, I’d like to know more about how she managed to do...all this.”
“Simple. There was a force much evil than the Blacks. She had known and stopped it. It was hard to get our trust, but at last, Wilder did something unimaginable and gave her the powers.” The Fox revealed.
“I was young, but I learned a lot of their disgusting themes,” I continued. “Although I didn’t cooperate in their ways.” The idea I had planned was going into action as I frowned at Anthony, “I should contact Ivy and-
“Alright, my God. You got me, woman,” Anthony surrendered in submission. His lips tightly turned up for a smirk. “There’s possibly no way for me to go around this, can I?”
Everyone’s mouth was slack-jawed, but I had to make sure he wasn’t deceiving.
Ivy would come after him.
I finally ended it. “My brain is way too smart in negotiating,” I simpered. The only one who didn’t seem surprised was Fox. In likelihood, it made sense to him that even if Anthony is of high rank - I would always be above.
“You call that negotiating?” I heard Evander question under his breath. “I thought this was never gonna conclude.” I giggled.
“Listen up,” Anthony spoke with no emotion, and we turned to him. “Vera is yours, but keep in mind that if history repeats, I’ll make sure to be one step ahead,” Anthony promised, knowing that I wasn’t as rusted as he thought. I was amazed that this pervert had taken the amble way of giving up. Like a switch turned off.
“Whatever you say, Nini,” I teased, arms crossed over my chest. He raised his eyebrows at the other pair on my waist that hadn’t come off, and I shrugged.
He attempted out a tiny genuine smile causing Fox to laugh as Anthony sent him a death glare. “I’m sorry, Boss, couldn’t help it,” he grinned coyly. “And I have updates from Cyrus. We have only a few minutes till patrols roll in, so we should finish up pronto,” he reported, and Anthony scowled.
Fox turned to walk away, but not before giving me a cautious wink. “I hope to see you around, hotshot.” It was my turn to give him a dirty look and gagged. Air suddenly surged out of my nose, like I was deflating, when I realized Evander had a python grip on my waist.
“What the shit, Eve, your gonna kill me!” I puffed as I freed myself from him. He immediately released with a somber face. What was with him?
“Don’t you fucking dare call me that again, Mareritt,” the pissed of gangster scowled, and I shifted.
“But I’ve always called you that,” I exclaimed, knowing how much he hated it. “Nini.”
We got along one short summer fortnight—when we were executing my plan of saving them. And let me tell you, he wasn’t the same as the one standing in front of me. If only the idiot hadn’t drank. I’m determined to see what he’d become, but knowing the Mafia business, it would stay the same. Spiteful and merciless.
“Oh, and Anthony,” I called as he sauntered towards his Jeep. I had to go home peacefully. “Greet Cyrus for me?”
“Tsk, whatever,” as the circular movement of brown eyes was peppered with amusement. He is going to forever be a dickhead.
“I sense you’ve changed after you come to charge. Never cross with me again, get that?”
He stopped in his tracks, eyes set back to narrow, and snarled at my warning. “Don’t worry. After this, I doubt it.” And hooped into his vehicle. One by one, the Harley’s left.
Soon the heavier vehicles followed. I didn’t miss how Anthony stared at Vera through an open window, expression blank as the game was over, and averted his attention front before they left.
She was safe now.
“In other words, they were wrapped up around your fingers?” Troy asked, having heard the entire conversation, as Evander began to drag me back to our side. I nodded as my legs stood shakily by itself.
“I built a whole new division,”
“Was that why the crime rates in NYC had mysteriously dropped some three years back?” he pondered. “It was all your doing?”
I shook my head,” Meh, I had some help.”
“I used the title Wilder gave me to stop them until I withdrew. He had passed away soon after I had left, but his will stated about me. I am to keep that power till I surrendered it to someone else.”
“Oh, my god,” Vera exclaimed, eyes filled with relief as well as guilt when she saw my most likely red neck that she kept glancing on. “Did he hurt you badly?”
“Yeah, did they damage anything?” Troy asked with worry. “I’m gonna kill them if they did.”
“Don’t be sullen about it,” my voice somnolent.
“Oh, shut up, brother,” Vera hissed at him. “I think she’s had enough of us causing trouble.”
“Nah, I’ve had worse, kiddo.” I smiled, knowing she can continue living civilly. She abruptly shoved me into a warm hug, and droplets splashed on my bare skin.
Oh, god. Now what?
“Thank you so much! I’m extremely grateful for what you did for me. I’ll forever be in debt to you,” she cried through her waterfalls.
Yikes. I’ve been dreading this, unfortunately.
“No, no! Never mind, I’m glad to have assisted as your umm...”
“The sister of the person who helped you months ago,” Troy promptly fired as Vera clung to me. I was officially—cringed out.
“Oh, lord! Gab, you alright?” Angelique fretted as she ran, along with the others. Concern evident in their eyes.
“For the last time, yes!” I groaned at the surrounding people.
Tired lingered in my bones for me to stay patient, and stank after sweating buckets. “You’re all fussing about nothing.” I swayed as I closed my droopy eyes.
“Damn,” I muttered as I unexpectedly wobbled over to my car, leaving them behind. A finger brushed my leg, and it was wet. I sniffed it...shit. How the fuck did this happen?
I inspected closely. My left leg had a patch torn, fabric, and skin, with blood dried around it.
I checked my phone, which I had accidentally tossed onto the seat a few seconds ago, and it was nearly 12. I opted to slap my face as sleep tried to force itself onto me.
I’ve accomplished my solo and was going home. From there, I could tend it, thank fuck for that. “I’m leaving. So, get your fucking asses to your cars, and get out of this dump before the police arrive.”
“Who’s Ivy?” Evander demanded, breaking the silence while I currently rested against the passenger seat of my car.
Affirmative. My car.
After Antoinette dramatically discovered my wound, Angelique’s wishes to drive my Jaguar flew out the window as we voted for her to take Evander’s car to Troy’s place to avoid dubiousness.
Amidst the horrendous discussion, we decided that Jace should drive Angelique’s Porsche to pick her up. Although she flat out refused. Ivan stayed at Jace’s for the night. If anyone were to mention why the late return, then there’s an explanation.
So, why was Evander driving my best possession?
Angelique might not be able to handle it if I were to collapse whatsoever and declared that he already took dibs to drive me home. I was offended and got pissed off, but chose not to kick when we heard the police arriving in the distance.
Vera hadn’t left my side the whole time we were preparing to leave, as she thought I needed attending.
All I needed was dinner; the acid churning inside wasn’t a great sign. And Troy continued pestering me like some Five year old. I think it was his way of showing gratitude, skittishly. He got rather odd around me.
Guess the cat’s out of the bag.
They are now aware of some history. I mused if we’ll return to being normal once we get back to school. Fall fest was next week, and I have tons of work to get on.
Jace and Ivan were long gone. Since both didn’t have a driver’s license, I was worried, but thankfully one of them knew how to steer. The other girls were with Troy, who waited for Angelique to follow them.
My car rumbled to life as Evander raced us away from the site, dashing into the still busy city.
“Remember the other gang I defeated during the duel? Their gang leader was Ivy. They were the female version of Anthony’s.”
It was tranquil for a while as I watched him drive us towards my home with the directions I had given. Troy would come for him later.
“Thanks for being there for Troy today. I truly appreciated it,” he coughed as he concentrated on the road. “If it weren’t for you-”
“It’s the payment for helping me, don’t worry.” I blushed. I wasn’t comfortable with the attention I’ve had every minute of tonight. What an adventure we had. “Dude, forget it.”
“Forget?” he chuckled. “Gab, I think it would be next to impossible for myself or anyone to erase how badass you were. Could we be considered as close friends, now?”
I remained crimson, but thank God it was dark as shit. “Urm, I’ll think about it.”
“Was your best friend involved as well?” he asked curiously.
“Mm...of course. We were four.” I mumbled through sleepy eyelids.
“Yeah, some of my cousins got involved, and yada-yada...” I yawned tiredly, not desiring to talk anymore. My mouth was going to drop for vacation if another word leaves from it.
He took a sharp U-turn as he let out a deep frown. I turned my head to look at Evander drive but couldn’t make out much as the lights from the lamp posts outside kept appearing and disappearing. His mind clouded about something as he stared strenuously ahead. What’s more, I could smell his musk blending with my car’s unique scent.
I chose to rest till we got there, and it would take a while. I snuggled into my seat, a jacket I had brought along with me, was wrapped around to keep warm, and inhaled in peace. My clamped eyes were burning. Evander would probably wake me...
“Have you ever killed someone before?” he questioned, out of the blue. My eyes popped ajar. His inquiry ran my blood to freeze. What the devil made him think about that? Damn it!
I hesitated before replying as I contemplated out the window. “Yes.”
“And did your parents find out about it?”
My parents had no clue what I’ve been doing late after school for nearly a year and a half. They suspected I was out driving in the deserted site as it developed into a routine.
¹Bastardo de mierda - Fucking bastard