Willow & Aiden After Forty

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Chapter 46


“She’s not back here,” I hear Ann scream. The knife that John is holding to my cheek jerks back, but not before nicking me. He releases my neck, “Get up, bitch.” He yanks me up by my hair.

He stands me in front of him, and Aiden finds the row where we are, thank God. He slides to a halt with Ann right behind him. “Oh my God,” Ann gasps.

“Drop the knife, John. You don’t want to die in prison.” Aiden’s green eyes don’t leave the knife at my throat.

I flinch, he doesn’t know John is dying already. Aiden doesn’t know John doesn’t have anything to lose.

John yanks my head back, “Ow,” I cry out. I taste blood. It’s dripping from my cut to the cheek, or maybe, my God, it might be my forehead.

I look to Aiden out of the bottom of my lids. I wish I could close my eyes, but my scalp is pulled back tightly with my hair. Please let us make it through this. Please don’t let us make it through all that we have been through to lose it all now.

“Come on, John, Willow doesn’t have anything to do with your problems. It’s me you want, let her go.” Aiden takes a step towards us.

“Ow!” I yelp when he pulls me back away from Aiden. “Not another step. I didn’t plan to hurt her. I was only going to fuck her and leave a beautiful life long kiss on her cheek.” He laughs, “I don’t have anything to lose; you took it all away.” He spits on the floor, and it lands in front of Aiden.

“You’re a piece of shit, Aiden, couldn’t play ball and keep your fucking mouth shut. Your old man was a genius, and you are nothing like-”

“AH!” John jumps back and loosens his grip on me. I jam the heel of my pumps into his foot and fall to the concrete floor. Aiden picks me up and shoves me over to Ann.

John is wrestling with Laura on the ground. Aiden picks him up off of her body and slams him into the ground. “I’m going to kill you, you mother fucker.” He takes his fist and starts beating his face.

“Aiden, stop, please.” I run over and grab his shoulder, trying to get him off John before he kills him.

“Aiden, man, get off him.” Lamar runs into the warehouse row and grabs Aiden and tries to pull him off of John. I stand on shaky legs and see Laura holding the knife and a black stiletto shoe. When our eyes meet, she drops both and crumbles to her knees.

“Aiden, ENOUGH!” Lamar finally gets Aiden off of John. Aiden looks at me and scans me from head to toe. He has blood on his teeshirt, and his hands are covered in blood.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. John locked me in the storeroom. I didn’t know,” Laura cries, and I go to her.

“It’s okay, it’s over.” I hold out my hand to help her up off the floor. I look at her black silk high necked blouse. Her hands fly to her throat, and her eyes to my neck that is throbbing in pain. She won’t raise her eyes to look into mine. I hug her to me and whisper, “Do you like to be choked during sex, or was he abusing you?”

I don’t know why I asked her now, I know it’s not the right time, but I need to know. I need to know if I was working side by side with her, having lunches with her while she was getting abused. Was she in an abusive relationship right under my nose, and I didn’t catch any signs so I could help her.

She pats my face softly. Her eyes look tired. She seems her sixty-one years of age right now as I’m sure I look my age of forty-three. “We are from different circles, my dear. And you are much too good for mine.”

“Willow,” Aiden takes my hand and embraces me in his arms. “The police are here; it’s over. Let’s go to the hospital, sweetheart. My God, Willow.”

He puts my hand over his heart. It’s pounding hard in his chest; I scrunch his tee shirt up in my hands. “I, I love you, Aiden.”

“God, Willow, I love you so much. The thought of losing you—”

“Shh, stop. We got through once, and we’ll get through this, I promise. I’m okay, but I do have a headache.”

“Christ, baby. I’m sorry again.” Aiden sweeps me up into his arms.

The police enter the warehouse, and Lamar releases John into their custody. John’s face is bloody, and his eyes are so swollen you can not tell the color of them. He stares right at Aiden while they haul him away in handcuffs.

“I’m sorry.”

My eyes swing to Laura’s, “It’s not your fault, Laura.”

She looks to Aiden, “It’s my fault, I’m sorry. I told him about tonight’s plans with Willow, about our phone conversation. He, he told me that you turned him into the FBI. I didn’t know until last night; he had to tell me, he’ll be arrested tomorrow. I didn’t know Aiden; I didn’t know, I swear. I knew he hated you, but I didn’t think he would try to hurt anyone. I’m so sorry.”

“Was he your investor?” I ask. She nods her head, yes.

Aiden shifts me in his arms and asks, “He laundered money for you…” He lets that hang in the air. Laura looks away from us; she looks ashamed and embarrassed. “You laundered money through here for him, didn’t you, Laura?”

I gasp, she was aware of what he was doing and helping him. She again falls to the ground and cries. Aiden looks at Lamar, “Tell them they forgot one.” He carries me out of the warehouse and takes me to the hospital.

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