***POV - Melaena
The house is empty and I fall onto the sofa and fling my legs over the backside. I take my phone from my pocket extremely happy that it seems to have dried out and is working. I message Kiara.
Mel: Where are you bitch? I’m home.
I urgently need to talk to my best friend about Damion’s experiments and hear what she thinks about everything.
She answers almost immediately.
Kiara: Late class. Will see you soon. I’ll pick up burgers.
There’s a knock on the door and as I didn’t lock it, I just yell for the person to enter. I glance over the side of the sofa expecting one of my brothers, just to find a total stranger standing in my living room.
He’s around Uncle John’s age with greying dark hair and dark eyes. He has scars all across his face and arms as if he was in a terrible accident. I know I’ve seen him before, but for all the money in the world, I can’t remember where at this moment.
“Hello, Melaena.” I jump up from the sofa and slowly walk backward until I feel the wall against my back.
“Keep calm, girl. I don’t want to hurt you, but I decided to pay you personally a visit so I can show the bastards that I’m not playing around. So just keep calm and we can sort something out.” He walks towards me and I want to scream but it’s as if my voice is frozen. Instead, I start babbling, my usual nervous behavior.
“Who are you? Why are you doing this? Why did you kill my mom?” He stops right in front of me and his dark eyes look oddly familiar.
“What do you want from me?” I hold my hands up to block him away, cause he’s standing very close to me now. His face turns into a pompous, angry mess.
“You really ask too many questions!” His eyes are glaring. “You need to listen to me!”
“No, you killed my mom!” I didn’t realize just how much hatred I have for this man in my heart until now. I swallow and the look in his eyes makes me decide to keep my mouth shut. His face pulls into a disgusted frown as if invisible pigeons just pooped on his head.
“Oh, I remember what happened to your mom, but that’s not important right now. Sadly, I’m not the bad guy in this story, but that’s also not paramount. The main thing is that we all get what we want in the end – revenge.” His words hit me right in the stomach and I can feel a burning sensation slowly pushing up my esophagus. I swallow it back.
“You’re sick!” It seems as if his eyes flip over. He grabs me.
“I’m sick?” His nutty little laugh sends shivers down my spine, thinking that this might just be my last moment on earth.
“What do you call your father then? And the people that did this? Even your brother is worse than me?” He motions to the scars, his breath fanning over my face. It has an odd smell, pungent, like a mix of camphor, chocolate, and sour milk. Anyway, they won’t turn it into perfume soon.
“You’re all fucking loony!” I bring up my leg and my knee collides with the spot between his legs. He doesn’t even flinch. WTF? Isn’t guys supposed to fall over when you hit their jacks?
Well, not this guy it seems, no it just flips him totally of his lid. His hand collides with my cheek and I fall, hitting my head against the table.
I move my fingers over the painful spot just above my ear and look disorientated at the blood covering my hands. There must be a wound cause blood is oozing down the side of my head.
I get back up, my body shaking, and look at him, his hands clenched into fists. I pick up my chin and try to look confident and not as scared as I feel. Was this how my mom felt before she died? A lone tear trickles towards my chin, mixing with the blood to drip onto the grey hoody that’s slowly getting soaked, turning red.
“I really don’t want to hurt you, I owe your mom that, so please don’t try something stupid like that again!” He’s holding onto my hoody, or rather Damion’s hoody.
“My dad is a bastard but you … you are a monster!” I don’t know why, but I’m not scared of him right now. He’s probably going to kill me, but I’ll never let him have the satisfaction of hearing me beg.
“You know what I am, I’m a victim! Just like your mom. Monsters are the people who turned me into this. The same ones that raped and cut your mother’s throat.” His eyes look kinda sad as if he’s in pain and for just an instance I feel sorry for him. I’m trying to register the meaning behind his words – and if I’m right he didn’t kill my mother. Can it be?
“You’re saying you are not my mom’s murderer?” I ask hesitantly, not sure if I can trust this man.
“Bingo … So you see, we’re actually looking for the same monsters. Don’t worry, while they were cutting me, I burned their faces into my mind, never to forget a single one. So where can I find your daddy?“
“My dad is gone, has been for almost 10 years.” I hiss, holding my breath. His whole demeanor changes and his eyes turn softer.
“Tell your uncle that I’m waiting for his answer or he’s going to lose everything.”
“Why are you taking it out on us, it’s not as if any of us is to blame?” He laughs and it sounds like one of those wacky scientists on the cartoon channel.
“Not all of you are as innocent as you think.” He stretches out his hand to touch the wound on my head, but then he retracts it again.
“I’m sorry but it has to be done. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on killing you. My son is madly in love with you.” He drops his grip on me and walks away. He opens the door and turns around to look at me. I just stand there frozen, my heart beating harder than a jet engine, hoping he will just leave. I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about, neither do I care at this moment.
“Bye, for now, Melaena.” I let out a deep breath when he closes the door behind him and lean onto the wall until my jelly knees turn solid enough for me to support my weight.
I grab a cloth and push it against the wound, looking frantically around, wondering what to do. I run out and stand in the driveway, trying to think clearly while my head feels as if it’s split into two.
“Okay, Logan is with Damion, Ilkay and Axel are both working, Enrique is at the club, so that leaves little Jackson. Just my luck, the one that can’t stand blood. I run to his house and slam on the door. His eyes almost fall from their sockets when he sees me.
“Mel?” It seems like he’s in shock.
“Don’t look at the blood, just drive me to the hospital.” I throw my keys at him and he runs behind me.
“What happened?” I explain the whole ordeal to him, trying to keep his mind clear. Jackson has anger issues and I don’t want him to lose it and run after Harry right now. Yep, Jackson has this dark side to him, a scary emotionless side that terrifies the crap out of me.
“Fuck. You’re getting blood all over that hoody.” He peeps at my clothes, “Is that Damion’s?” Jackson looks straight ahead again, concentrating on the road.
“It’s … never mind, just drive.” I don’t want to explain why I’m wearing Damion’s clothes. I frown, looking at the blood staining the hoody. Then we stop in front of the ER where Ilkay works. I run in and Jackson goes to park the car. A young nurse helps me to a bed. She gives me a form to fill in and then Jackson runs into the room.
The nurse looks up and her eyes openly check him out. Ug, I hate that my brothers are so handsome sometimes. But it’s as if Jackson doesn’t even notice her – he rarely does. He’s not like his twin when it comes to girls. I stuff the form into his hands, wanting to keep him occupied so he doesn’t pass out or something.
“I phoned Ilkay, he’s on his way.” Ilkay literally runs into the room followed by another older nurse.
“You ok?” He takes the towel from me and holds my face between his hands while he checks out the wound. Minutes later Axel storms through the door. The nurses look bewildered at each other, not grasping what exactly is happening here. Or maybe it’s because of the overpowering testosterone bunched together into the small room. I, myself feel like I’m suffocating.
“I brought my team member in for minor burns when I saw you run in,” Axel explains what he’s doing there. He’s still wearing part of his uniform and the young nurse is checking him out. I can’t blame her though, Axel looks pretty damn hot in his white sleeveless vest and firefighter pants.
“Doctor Blackburn, want me to get the trolley ready?” The nurse pulls on Ilkay’s sleeve to get his attention earning her a stern look from the older nurse. Ilkay looks at her as if she’s invisible and then he starts barking orders, in full doctor mode, and the nurses pull a trolley closer and arrange some stuff on it.
“You’re going to need a few stitches.” The nurse hands the equipment he orders from the trolley. He puts on some gloves, while Axel takes a super-bleak Jackson to some chairs in the hallway. Ilkay turns to the older nurse.
“Sister, please get some energy drinks from the break room and give them to the guys please.” The nurse looks from Axel to Jackson and then she smiles, at them.
“Yes, doctor.” She rushes out, leaving the first nurse to help Ilkay. He pulls some liquid into a syringe.
“I hate needles!” Suddenly I feel like fainting right there on the bed. He smiles and I notice the nurse pulling a sour face and rolling her eyes.
“Don’t worry, little sister, my doctor skills is just as good as my big-brother skills. Just close your eyes.” Now the nurse is almost choking on her spit, looking truly jealous and she openly pouts her lips.
“It better be or else I’m going to get you back big time.” He just laughs softly as if I’ve said something funny and then it hits me that I’ve never succeeded in outmaneuvering Ilkay. Ug, damn blood loss is making me crazy. I close my eyes reluctantly and feel a small pinch and a burning sensation and then a few minutes later my big bro says that he’s all done. I open my eyes. Ilkay is busy cleaning the blood from my face. Unsuspectedly he pulls me into his arms and places a kiss on my head, my hands move around his body, pulling him closer.
It’s as if his warmth pulls all the fear, anger, pain, and every other emotion from me to him making me feel safe.
“I’m going to kill the fucking bastard!” The nurse gasps probably not used to my brother talking like that, and he lets me go reluctantly just as Axel walks in again, looking with a frown from Ilkay to me.
“Jackson is going to take you home and he’ll stay with you. Enrique is also on his way home and Kiara is also there now. You’ll be safe. We won’t leave you alone again.” He pulls me into his arms now and I can feel he’s tense. I kiss him on his cheek and put my arms around his neck.
“Don’t worry mate, you can’t get rid of me that easy.” He snuggles his head into my neck and pulls me tighter. He smells like smoke and sweat and he’s dirty as hell, but I don’t care. I love Axel just as much as I love my brothers and I know that he loves me and Kiara like sisters. I catch Ilkay’s eyes on us and it looks like an emotional chameleon on a rainbow, ranging from worry, anger, frustration to sadness, pride, and love.
“I can’t lose you, Mel.” I stroke Axel’s back softly, feeling his tense body relax. He pulls away and wipes his eyes with his arm.
“I’ll see you after my shift.” Axel squashes me against him again before letting me go.
“I’m glad you’re ok.” He takes an energy drink from the stunned nurse and walks out the door, looking back blowing me a kiss. Ilkay picks me up in his arms and lifts me off the bed. He slowly lowers me to my feet, takes my arm, and places his hand in mine, helping me to where Jackson is waiting.
“Put some ice on the bruise, and don’t get the stitches wet.” Then his eyes grow dark and I know he’s angry.
“Why?” He says it so softly, I almost didn’t hear him.
“I think he’s looking for father. He probably hopes that by attacking his kids, dad will come out of hiding. And he didn’t kill mom.” Ilkay looks surprised by this, just as I was. “Anyway, he didn’t make a lot of sense, blabbing about revenge and so on, but I don’t think he wanted to hurt me.” Jackson comes and takes me from Ilkay.
“You fucking better keep her safe!” Ilkay hisses at his younger brother, causing Jackson to frown and cock his head. But before anyone can say anything the young nurse opens the door and steps out with a big smile that droops as she takes in the tense scene before her.
“If her headache doesn’t clear up, or she starts throwing up, you must call me. My shift ends soon.” Ilkay walks away, slamming his hand against the wall in the process. Not every day you get to see his bad-boy side take over.
“Oookkk.” Jackson pulls the word out and puts his arm around my shoulder leading me out of the building. I’m glad Kiara is waiting at home, I seriously need some girl time with my BFF - and the burgers she promised.