Ray drops me off at school after I finish disposing of Callum's body. Im just in time to meet Kennedy at my locker. This has been a fucking day!
I must admit that dark twisted part of me was flattered that Christian would protect me like that. I know its wrong on a basic normal human level but...im not exactly normal. I am dark and twisted as well as a little too comfortable with violence and gore. Im all kinds of fucked up.
Kennedy is waiting for me with a big grin. What now?
"What did you do?" I ask.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Bullshit. I narrow my eyes in suspicion and she breaks. If only all my interrogations were this easy. "So I hear we're going to a pub gig with Keir and Alek." She grins.
"Yep. I didn't get a chance to ask if you wanted to come." I grimace.
"I dont know why you want me to go at all. Go with him. Have fun." She urges.
"Its not like that." I try but she blows a raspberry at me.
"Thats bullshit and you know it." She argues. I cant fucking do this!
"Do you want to come or not?" I ask losing a bit of my cool. How is it that I can get shot at, stabbed and kill people and not break a sweat but any mention of these guys and im a mess of nerves and hormones? "Sorry, I just... I cant ok? Please leave it."
She huffs bit doesn't push it anymore.
"Fine, I'll come with you."
"Thank you." I smile. "Wanna get ready at my place? Keir is picking us up at seven."
"I need to have dinner with the parents tonight. I'll be over at your place just before then though." She smiles as we head to my bike.
I see a Bugatti parked in the driveway as I pull in after dropping off Kennedy. I make my way inside and stop in my tracks at the sight of Jai in the waiting room.
"Grace?" He says looking shocked. Well that answers that question. Not here for me.
"Jai. Hi." I say letting my confusion show.
"What are you doing here?" He asks. He changed his hair. Long soft black hair shaved into a fade on the sides i just want to run my hands through it again. His brows are pulled down making him look hard but I know how his face looks when he's laughing and when he's coming. Oh I need to leave. Like twenty minutes ago.
"Oh, I see you've met my niece, Mr. Tanaka. Grace, how was your day?" Andras walks in with his no nonsense business tone.
"It was ok." I shrug. "I'll leave you guys to your business." I smile and turn to leave.
"Grace?" Andras says. Dont make me stay, dont make me stay. I turn to look at Andras. "Whats on your forehead?" He asks. I reach up to touch it and feel the tender bruise.
"Oh! Some jackass didn't hear me when I said no. I took care of it." I shrug with smile. He snorts.
"You ok?" He asks and i nod. "Ok, see you at dinner."
"See you then. Bye Jai." I turn and hurry to my room. I change into leggings and a loose blue tank top over a sports bra. I need to get some of this energy out before I snap.
I say hi to Ruby and Richard and make my way to the gym. I blast AC/DC and start hitting the punching bag. I see Richard at the door in a black track suit.
"May I join you?" He asks.
"Of course. Hows it going Richard?"
"Very well. Andras is worried about you. I heard you were in a fight today?" He mentions dropping down into effortless push ups. I knew there was more to him than just butler.
"Ya... this guy Callum pinned me to the lockers and implied that he would enjoy me putting up a fight against him." I shudder at the thought. I cant think too much on it or I'll fall into my memories and I've worked hard to squash those fuckers down. "He didn't." I state with a vicious grin. Richard nods.
"Is he still alive?" He asks making me smile. I see the violence in his eyes. Hes like me, a little dark and twisted.
"I left him bleeding on the floor." I admit.
"Do you need some help with the issue?" He presses.
"No. It seems he wasn't in class for the rest of the day." I shrug with a tiny smile. Richard smirks and nods his understanding.
"You know, you have everyone fooled thinking you're this tiny little girl scared of her own shadow." He muses. "When I led you to the parlor that first day you didn't look scared at all. You were looking at exits and cameras and your surroundings. You are a smart girl. Use the innocent mask when you can. I know you saw through my mask that first day too." He smiles getting up and raising himself into pull ups. I fucking knew it!
"Thank you. I could use a friend who understands all this." I hope he takes the olive branch and not rat me out.
"You have more than you know." He smiles.
"Any chance you're going to tell me who?" I ask.
"Lets just say, if there was ever a place for... someone of your talents, its here." He evades. "You have some aggression you need to get out. Would you like to spar?" He asks.
"I have a fight tomorrow. Don't injure me too bad." I smile. Im serious though. He has a foot on me and at least a hundred pounds of muscle if he can just throw himself into twenty pull-ups without even breathing heavy.
"i would never dream of hurting you Grace. You make too many people happy, myself included." He grins.
"Alright, lets go." I say walking over to the mats and fighting off the feels. We bump knuckles and start circling.
He comes at me quickly and tries to put me in a choke hold but I tuck my chin and drop as I reach for his head throwing him to the mats.
"Excellent." He beams and gestures for me to attack. I see he's feigning a weak left knee. He didn't have a bad knee before. So I look him over and don't see another weakness. He is a wall. Ok, he's taller and heavier than me but he's not big. So he'll have some flexibility but probably not as much as me. I am younger and female that puts me at an advantage for flexibility.
I charge forward and slide through his legs and landing hits with my middle and index knuckles to the backs of his knees. He drops to them and laughs turning to grab me. I grab his wrist and pull it back and send him forward into the mats forcing him to tap out.
"You are really good." Richard crows.
"I told you." Andras says from the doorway. Jesus, I didn't even see him. "Im glad you guys are getting along but Ruby says dinner is ready."
We make our way to the table. Ruby made chicken pot pies. Jai must have left while we were in the gym.
"So, how do you know Mr. Tanaka?" Andras asks.
"Umm... well we met last week at one of my fights." Thats enough right?
"He asked me for my blessing to ask you out." He smirks. Jesus!! Why!?
"Great..." I mutter stabbing at my dinner.
"Ive had a lot of those this week." He mentions casually.
"I heard." I mutter.
"And?" Ruby asks excitedly.
"I... Im not interested." In dying.
"No one?" Richard asks with a raised eyebrow. Gossips! The lot of them! "Remember what I said. You have more friends that understand than you think." He smiles gently. Fine! Here it goes.
"Ok, so here's the thing. The guys im interested in and that I know are interested in me are all from mob families." There! I said it! Happy?
"All of them?" Ruby asks.
"Yes. I've been saying no all week." I explain.
"Shit." Andras mutters.
"Ya!" I nod.
"I knew about Christian and McConnell." Adras says.
"Ya, add in Jai from the yakuza and Keir from the Bratva." I explain. "I managed to talk down Keir to just being friends but... I dont know what else to do." I confess.
"Hmmm... let me think on that." Richard says with a nod.
"Im rooting for Christian. Hes always so sweet." Ruby smiles dreamily. I just shake my head. Gossips.
"Oh, Kennedy and I are going out with Keir and his friend to see a band tonight. Pick up is at seven." I let them know.
"What band?" Andras asks.
"I have no idea." I admit. "Some friends of Keir's."
"May I suggest finding a date that isn't one of these boys?" Richard asks.
"More boys? No, im good." I chuckle. He laughs too.
"That is a fair point. Never mind that then." He chuckles.
"Its almost six thirty. You better get dressed." Ruby says.
"Thank you guys." I smile before racing off to my room.
This is where Grace lives now? Rudy said she had moved but I didn't expect her to be a Van Doren.
Mr. Van Doren is frigging scary. I understand why no one else wanted to talk to him. Im glad I volunteered though. I found Grace.
She barely gave me the time of day which kind of hurt but im on business anyway. I dont want her involved if I can help it. She's too sweet for this kind of thing.
I did however get the balls to ask Mr. Van Doren for his blessing to ask her out. I figured she might like the whole gentleman approach after last time we were together.
Last time I was not such a gentleman. She didn't seem to mind but she deserves to have all the stops pulled out for her. She is something special and I intend to treat her as such.
I pull into the parking lot and head into the pub where im meeting Tai. I find him at the bar already drunk and chatting up a pink haired girl who looks like she would love to be anywhere else.
"Leave the poor girl alone Tai." I chuckle slinging an arm around his shoulders.
"Hey, man!" He grins. "You made it!" How is he drunk already? Its not even nine.
"Ya, sorry im late. Had to report back." I shrug.
"All good my man! I was just talking to this lovely lady. She said she's not interested but I bet her a hundred bucks i could change her mind." He boasts. Oh god.
"No, I said I was gay." She corrects with a raised eyebrow. Oh god! That's even worse.
"Tai, thats not how that works. Pay the lady her winnings and lets get you out of here before you hurt yourself...or someone hurts you." I suggest.
"Ya, you're probably right." He sighs giving the girl two hundred. She goes to argue but I shake my head.
"Keep it. Trust me." I assure her. Hes probably been harassing her for a while. She earned it by not decking him.
"Is this guy still bugging you Ken?" A hard female voice calls.
"No, im good. Hes leaving with a friend." Ken calls back before turning to me. "Thanks man." I nod and start herding Tai out of the pub.
Well, that was a fun night out.