An explanation to Hunter's mom's behavior in the previous chapter:
Mrs McConnell was a woman who spent virtually almost half of her life training her son(Hunter), only to wake up one morning to hear that he was a bully and a rapist.
No normal parent would believe such information immediately. Iris's parents worked for her, she had a part ownership with the school Iris had attended, yet not once did the news of her son bullying Iris come to her hearing.
She wasn't trying to call Iris a liar but she's trying to get reasons why she should lose confidence in her own son ( typical reason why she was so questionable about Iris's own parents. No parent would have done what they did if Iris was truly going through pain)
This explanation may not be enough to some of you but I'm simply trying to clear out any air of Mrs McConnell looking like she's tryna blame someone else for her sons behavior.
Now that it's been said..
I parked in front on El Diablo restaurant, internally wishing that I had another option than to be here.
After staring at the building with its neon lights illuminating the entire block, I shut my eyes and rested my head on the steering wheel. Taking deep breaths and making a silent prayer that I wasn't walking into a murder mission.
My phone chimes in my pocket, distracting me from the few seconds of silence that I was slowly beginning to enjoy.
Table reservation number 12
I didn't need to unlock my phone to know who the message was from.
Unknowingly, a groan escapes my lips and I hop out of the car. Moving with a rigid stance till I reached the entrance.
It's now or never
I stepped in and passed a smile to the attractive waitress at my left, which she returned easily before speaking up.
" Welcome to El Diablo, let me show you to a table " she greeted and gestured with her arms
" I have a reservation, number twelve "
" oh" her features fell like she was a bit disappointed. Probably she knew I had a lady waiting " right this was way then"
She began walking farther into the room till we got to a stair, leading to the second floor. We climbed awfully too fast for my liking but I was a bit glad. The faster things went, the earlier I could leave.
The moment we got to the top of the stairs, the waitress walked a few feet forward and pointed out the table. But she didn't need to because I caught a glimpse of Diane, already seated in a silver sequence gown sipping on a glass of wine.
I mouthed a thank you to the escort and walked towards the table, and as if sensing my presence, Diane turned her head to my direction and a wry smile fell on her lips.
No doubt, a scowl found its way to my face but I needed to hear what she had to say before getting pissed off at least.
" I really don't have much time-" I began but she cut me off
" I was beginning to think that you wouldn't show up. And shame on you Hunter, you can't even please a girl by freshening up after work before coming for a date?" She said mockingly, clearly pointing out the fact that I had an evidently frustrating day.
" Who says I'm looking to please you? And secondly this is not a date okay? It's an official business meeting, so go ahead with the business " I fired and waited for her to speak.
She was actually silent for a few seconds, taken aback by my behavior but it didn't take her long to regain her composure.
" oh don't be such a sour puss. Waiter!" She replied and called out to the waiter who stood just a few feet away. The young man came towards us with quick strides before offering a bow " please get us a bottle of Venisse Champagne, extra sparkle and a glass for my date here" she instructs the man who hurriedly rushes to get her order
" Diane I'm getting a little impatient "
" Well you better put on your patience because you're gonna be here a while " Diane retorts and I took a deep sigh.
" Look, I'm sorry for not being in the best moods but you're practically coming into my life at a very very wrong time " I run my hand through my hair and squeezed my eyes shut for a second before opening them again to see Diane watching me with keen interest.
" so much has happened in like, I don't know ten, eleven years?" She moved slowly, almost like a predatory cat, placing one hand on the table and the other hoisted her chin.
" Yeah. It's been a while, don't you think?" I wasn't in the mood for a conversation, but I had no other options. If this was the only way to get her to speak then so be it.
" uhun.. a pretty long while-" she started but the waiter arrived with the order thus distracting her from her words.
I took the few seconds the waiter used to set up the drinks, to admire the scenery of this restaurant once again. I had been here a few times but I could never get accustomed to the blue lighting of the place. It made to room look more erotic than it should.
" oh yes.. where were we?" Diane distracts me from my thoughts, then did I notice that the waiter was gone.
" catching up I suppose " the uninterested nature of my voice wasn't hidden but if she caught on it, I wasn't sure because she kept on speaking.
" Yeah.. I mean, you're done with school, Apparently you've grown to be a handsome personnel, you're practically one of the richest people in New York and what else? " she began but I remained reclined in my seat, watching her every movement.
" oh yes... the most impossible so far. You left the clan?" She continued
" Are we here to discuss about me or are we here to discuss about your father?"
" Neither. We're here to discuss why my father is after you."
" That's none of your business " I honestly have no energy to delve into that.
" Wrong, it is. The moment I step foot on New York and I asked to be briefed about what's been going on in the clan in the past ten years, two things stood out. Hunter left the clan and Matthias is dead. Care to explain?" She folds her arms across her chest and lifts a brow
" Is this the reason you brought me here?"
" Stop avoiding the question. Hunter you used to be in the Clan, you know what happens when someone tries to leave the clan. In case you've forgotten let me remind you, my father sends Matthias after them to kill 'em and bring their heads as evidence. But then Matthias is dead, one of the best murder evidence erasers in the world is dead and his supposed victim is alive. Did you kill Matthias?"
She asked, clearly hoping to get an answer from me but I knew better than to tell her the truth.
Yes I had killed Matthias but it was only mere suspicion they had against me, no full proof from the clan that I was responsible for his death.
" you're not gonna respond, are you?" She speaks up again and I still justify that question with silence. They can't use against you the words you didn't say.
Diane released a sigh and reached into her purse, after searching it for a few seconds she pulled out a tube that contained a red liquid and a paper underneath.
" Well my dad thinks you did. And you see this?" She lifts up the little container which I'm silently praying isn't what I think it is " is your daughters blood. I heard you got a kid? Congratulations by the way but my dad is going to drain her dry, syringe by syringe till you submit yourself. The paper beneath is a test result so you'd know it's your kid and you're free to run another test if you choose "
My face evidently pales and I swear my feet became ice cold. All I could think of was Louisa.
He's gonna drain her!!
" Where is he!? I'd submit myself in the next two seconds just.. fuck! Please tell me where he is. He can't do that to her!" I don't care what he's gonna do to me, I just want my daughter out of this.
" Believe me he can, and I don't know his whereabouts either trust me. My own father had sent me to Garey Indiana and for technically eleven years I never saw nor heard from him till yesterday when he sent some men to come put me on a flight to New York. I got in the plane, got off, was briefed the plan and i came straight into your office. I don't know a thing about where my dad is" she explains and I don't know why I can detect the honesty in her voice.
" How can you not know where your own father is? You must have asked or have a clue!?" I almost shouted but I maintained my composure by a thread.
" My father doesn't trust no man, so he can't trust anyone as much to know of his whereabouts enough to tell me"
" I saw him live at my wedding " remembering how he had followed Iris out of the building.
" You of all people should be pretty aware that he could be in mars by now"
"Then how does he want me to submit myself for christs sake!?" I was still eyeing the blood warily like it was my soul in a bottle.
" That's the game, he knows you can't find him, he knows he's gonna drain that girl dry and he knows he's gonna kill you afterwards but he's gonna do this so long as he thinks you killed Matthias. So I ask you again, are you responsible for his death?"
" Of course I am, how could I possibly let him kill me? I fought back and he got killed instead " I didn't know when the truth came rushing from my mouth, all I just want is a solution to this.
Diane looked livid and honestly scared at most.
" So he knows you killed Matthias, I'm surprised that he let you live this long " she stated taking a deep breath.
" I'm surprised too. Only a month ago I survived two gunshots but that was a vengeance that took too long even for Soldo"
" He's been following you, possibly just waiting for when you'd be at your weakest to strike. But I don't get why he waited for your kid to grow a bit. I mean, he usually kidnaps them from the hospital bed"
" I found out she's my kid few days ago "
"Long story " I stop her questioning and run my hand down my face. " I'm having a bloody migraine " I added.
" I heard you're in debt from your last delivery?" She asks again and I nod affirmatively. No use keeping anything from her anymore.
" So you're in debt and you murdered my dads favorite man..." she paused for a moment " this is bad"
" I know " I sighed and used my eyes to scan the room once again. I have no idea why but my instincts wasn't trusting one of the customers in the room.
I used my eyes to search the entire room and I sight a familiar body structure at the far end of the room. Not only did I sight him but he was also looking at me.
The man was dressed in a three piece suit and he wore sunshades whilst he smoked on a cigarette.
Immediately my eyes landed on him, I hurriedly looked away before he realizes that I recognized him.
It was Booz.
Another member of the Clan who had lost his left eye on a mission some years before I left. If his bodice wasn't unique enough to detect him, his glasses in this dimly lit indoors gave him away.
" Did you come here with anyone?" I whispered to Diane who caught on my words quickly.
" yes, the two men who had escorted me to New York"
" was Booz among them?"
" Booz? Who the fuck is Booz? I came in here with Rafael and D'angelo"
Then it hit me that she had already been sent away before we recruited Booz into the circle.
And I knew the two men she claimed to have come in here with.
" Far down to your right. I recognize him" I said without taking my eyes of her so I wouldn't look suspicious to any ploiter. "Your dad sent men to watch us" I groaned so quietly as we were still whispering to avoid getting heard.
Everything was making me feel dizzy with the way it was all happening at once. I discovered it was a good time to actually take a sip from the drink Diane had brought in.
" Don't drink that" Diane said as soon as I brought the glass to my lips.
" just trust me on this one" she places her hand over mine " waiter" she continues
The young man who had been standing at a distance came to our table once again and Diane made her order.
" we'd like two glasses of coke please "
The man nods and walks away again. Pretty strange how a waiter doesn't deem it fit to pass a paying customer a simple 'good evening'
As soon as the man was far enough I withdrew my hand from beneath hers " They don't serve coke in this restaurant "
" You know that, I know that, but the waiter doesn't "
Then I understood her point.
" he's another ploiter"
" Exactly. I saw him at a distance when I landed at the airport, what you just said confirmed my suspicion"
I leaned back in my chair, already tired from all that's happening.
" So you're saying that my drink was poisoned "
" There's a very high chance that that's true"
" I need to find your father "
" And I want to help. I want out of this Clan, I'm tired of hiding "
" You're still wanted by the police "
" it's been years, I wasn't able to plant the evidence against the politician so I'm innocent. Plus I never said I was gonna go into the spotlight "
" I don't still trust you"
" Look, my number is on the back of the test results. Don't look now, but give me a call when you change your mind "
I was still staring at her when she spoke up again.
" And I was also sent to deliver a message "
" Which is?" Today can't get any worse, can it?
" Protect her, or hide her or something "
" hide who?"
" that's all I was told to say. But my guess is, I heard you were about to get married before all these started right?"
The gears in my head already knew the answer to expect.
" Then protect her"