“Bìtch, tell Jae how you killed Mona’s dad --”
Wait...I don’t know whether I should address my pregnancy first or just jump straight into the fact that mama killed Mona’s dad?
Her words knock the breath out of me and you could see that everyone was churning in utter shock and confusion. The room seems to spin quickly but I obtain a harsh grip on Mason’s arm, scattering my sudden imbalance away.
Walter speaks first, “very well, uhm, thank you for the wonderful dinner. We’ll just take the lentil soup and be on our merry way. Deuces.”
The door shutting close rackets through my body and I struggle to stop swinging on my feet. Mama was still wide-eyed, lips parting and opening many times but it was written all over her face. My mother’s guilt was all over her youthful face.
“So, I’ll see you at the lab kiddo,” Germaul winks cheekily at Syria and she jolts into realisation before joining Germaul en route to a stroll outside “good night, Lil’ bit and Lil’ bit’s husband.”
Germaul was probably pulling out his best cards, charming the Italian goddess outside as the awaited the heat to die down in the house and that thought alone enticed my swinging to commence even stronger. A sharp pain strikes my abdomen and I heave in vast quantities of air before stalking to our couch and dipping down. Mason was hands on, fetching me water alongside with a butcher knife I kindly requested and he left me to fight this battle alone.
I couldn’t hurt my two children by doing this to myself; I couldn’t ruin myself like this and be held liable when something happens to Mickey and Micah. My heart flutters at their names; Mickey for Michael and Micah sliding right off your tongue sweetly.
“The funny thing is I’m not mad at you for killing Mona’s dad,” I continue to pant, rubbing my aching belly before locking gazes with her again “no, I’m mad because you always find a way to ruin my life.”
Mother scoffs, her bright blue lips twisting into an obvious pout, “youse shoulda thought about that when you brought in that vile man --”
“Who happens to be my father!” and the pain kicks up a notch, resulting in more panting and rubbing “how old would I have to be until you told me about Germaul?”
Mother sneers openly at me before scowling bitterly, “you didn’t need to know about him because I was your everything. Your mama, your daddy --”
“You failed at being a mother. You failed at taking care of me. You failed at keeping a man because --” a slap echoes in the room and being nestled in the comfortable confines of the couch, I gaze up at her with teary eyelids. My face was flaming, my body still vibrating at the impact and in the midst of it all my abdominal pains halted right then. That’s when I realized my mama had just slapped the shìt out of me.
“Bronx was a man that made me his punching bag, abused me, humiliated me and treated me like the scum of this earth! I was everything to him, everything he could possibly want! My body was his, I loved him and we had a beautiful daughter together - what more do these men want?!” my breathing accelerates by the minute and I glare at her intensely while holding onto my heated cheek “one day I had had enough. He was a musician that ruined my life and I vowed to never take anymore of his beatings. I hit him against the head with a baseball bat and cried self-defence, freeing myself from that evil man.”
Mama is cut off when Mason staggers into the room with two perplexed guards before gazing at me lingeringly. It took him a matter of a few seconds to put two and two together and Mason was an uncontainable beast after he saw the state I was in. With a quick flick of the wrist, Mama was seized by the burly men but I couldn’t let her be thrown out like a criminal...without hearing me first.
“You know what I’m going to do?” I sob softly while rubbing my cheek “I’m going to be your worst nightmare and do what you couldn’t do. Mason and I will be married until death do us part. I’m going to love this man so hard that I will find it in my power to make sure that he comes back home to me. We’re going to have beautiful children, two children that will be loved so much that their presence alone will be love.
I’m going to be an amazing wife. I’m going to be strong for my husband and I’m going to change the world right by his side. I’m going to have what you’ve always wanted and I didn’t need a weave to accomplish that. No. I don’t even need breasts to get an Italian mafia king to bow down for me just to tie my cheap shoelaces. No. I proved to him that I could establish myself as an independent woman and he fell in love with brains, not with funny tricks on a pole.”
My mother’s painful shrills as she was being dragged away into the harsh cold enticed a few sobs but it was nothing Mason’s embrace couldn’t relieve. I expected myself to cry, to sob hard against his suit but I didn’t. Instead, I took in the cologne drenched on his neck, along with his natural scent and I sighed happily onto his skin.
Mason’s calloused fingers find my chin and he tilts me up to his attention, studying the skin which is probably bruising terribly and presses his lips gently on my cheek.
“Mia moglie, I will have your mother shipped off to Cuba as a sѐx slave by midnight,” Mason kisses my cheek once again, more tenderly this time as if he wanted to caution the area “just say the word, mia moglie. I’ll make sure she’s so broke that she considers selling one of her organs to the slums.”
I shake my head and a smile spans across my lips, “my mother is anything but caring towards me, we have established that by now. I want her to squirm whenever she sees us, our little family. I want her to see me behind you, supporting you with our little boys holding our hands.”
Mason takes a dramatic pause to gaze up at the ceiling and runs his tongue across his teeth before returning back to me, a brow arched up close to his hairline, “let’s get the swelling down and then we’ll talk about our two daughters.”
I too mimic his facial expression - mind you that mine was more in a comical manner - and my lips twitch into a smirk once Mason lowers himself down. He gestures to his back and I waste no time before hopping right on. Instantaneously, his arms secure my legs as he rises up with ease and I nuzzle my nose into his neck.
“Can I ask a question - man that hurts!” I yell at him while he applies peroxide onto the bruised flesh.
Mason shakes his head apologetically and presses his lips onto my temple soothingly, “forgive, forgive. I apply si? Peroxide, si? Burning, flames, didn’t know dear wife? I no go do again, promise?”
His mock broken English sends me into fits of laughter, though they did nothing to decrease the amount of pain I was feeling. Eventually, after Mason applied all his medical knowledge which he claims he learnt while being new in the mafia business, he and I were in the comfort of our bed. The abdominal pains were gone and since the bump is bigger than normal I struggled to find a position to sleep in. I finally found a proper position that felt right which was my body was facing the ceiling and Mason’s head was against my chest, his hand occasionally brushing my bare bump.
“Mason?” I whisper his name in the dark room that welcomed the stunning light of the moon.
“How do you know Selena?”
His body tenses, his jaw muscle pulsating against my chest but he answered me nonetheless, “she was eighteen when we met, I was twenty one and she told me she wanted to be a stripper. Operation: Find Lakeisha Duckett was on hold and I drank myself out cold every night until I saw you at the pub. One night Lena found me drinking and joined me, which then led to an obvious action. Tomas and Nathaniel loved her, to absolute bits but my father wanted me to have some...some chocolate instead.”
“Say,” my whispers caress Mason, his body igniting to life and I know that I’m not going to be let off the hook quite easily after this “say you didn’t find me. Say you gave up on me, would you have married Selena?”
"Scusi! Do you want Syria to have me for the last supper?” I laugh at the last third of the sentence “the only woman in my life would’ve been Syria, I’m sure of it. Can I ask you a question?”
Odd, he seems to read me like an open book these past few months, “Sure, go right ahead.”
He sighs quietly, his plump lips caressing my belly gently, “If I asked you to leave your job, to leave everything and work under the DeLuca’s, would you?”
“Absolutely not!” a chuckle leaves my lips accompanied with a snort “you know that I wouldn’t do that! By now, you should know that I defy you by all odds. Baby, I have one last question and then we’re sleeping.”
“Fire away, tesoro.”
“Why do Italians have a thing for black women?”
Mason grins against my belly and kisses it, his fingers trailing down to a much more awaiting area. He looks up at me, lip jutted out in guilt and leans forward to kiss my lips, “Melanin. We have a crazy thing for melanin and black women are fiery. We are strong men who need equally strong women behind us. You should’ve seen me when I was thirteen, long before I got to know you. I used to mastúrbate to Alek Wek because she was so amazingly dark. Like you’ve got nothing on her, you’re mocha and she was like navy blue, so fúcking ethereal. Hell, I sometimes still wish you could go chill out in the sun for too long because dark women are gorgeous.”
“Mason, I get it! I’m mocha and I’m staying mocha!” my laughter increases as Mason presses his lips on mine intensively. After recuperating from my laughing session, I prop myself up using my elbows and give him a cheeky wink.
“Suck my pússy.”
Mason chuckles lowly, positioning his shirtless self between my legs and smiles, “I’ve been dying to have some since we started talking about dark women.”
“Mason?” I call to him and he responds by stirring in the sheets “Mason, I’m leaving okay?”
He removes the blanket from his head and snuggles into the pillow, “so early? Why?”
“I’m just going to fetch Blair and Walter before heading down to Nathaniel’s place.”
Pastel blue eyes pop open and all levels of sleep dissipated into nothing, “scusi?”
Oh boy, here we go.
“I saw Nathaniel in the CCTV footages and if I could find his wedding picture then I’m sure there’s more I still have to see.”
Mason sits up, his curly hair dishevelled and he pouches grouchily, “he’s family, fiore. DeLuca’s never hurt each other.”
I get down on my knees, the plush carpet rubbing against the thin material of my jumpsuit and I clasp my hands in pleading, “Please? I’ve never asked for your help in this case and I just ask of one thing. Please keep him away from his house, give him one of your meetings Mason.”
Mason arches an intense brow, “absolutely not! I will not betray our family.”
“Through sickness and health Mason, through all good and bad. Through forensic cases and gang abductions.”
Mason’s eyes harden, midnight blue flaming instantly, “do not bring our wedding vows into this.”
I shuffle to the bed, my pride still on my knees and I grab hold of his reluctant hand, “I know that I’m asking for too much, believe me I know I do. It’s just that...I need this Mason, I’m so close and I just need a few things. Ti amo, morito mio.”
He gazes at me lingeringly, eyes covering every detailed inch of my face until he sighs softly. Mason reaches for his phone on the bedside table and places it on his ear, shifting straight into Italian. The suspense was killing me. It was churning me right into shreds on the inside and the worst part was that he kept his eyes on mine during the entire call.
Now I need to be compensated for this emotional distress he’s putting me through.
Finally, the call ends and Mason is grimier than when he first woke up. He slides his phone on my side of the bed and sighs heavily, his hands running all over his face.
“His meeting is in ten minutes and he’ll be gone for approximately two hours. Grab what you can quickly and get the hell out of his house.”
My eyes widen out of their sockets involuntarily. Mason did it. Mason actually did this for me and completely casted his values and principles aside just for me. I couldn’t contain my giddiness and I knew that I wasn’t alone in the giddiness bowl when I felt slight discomfort on my abdomen once again. My back arches at the soft impact and it’s not long until I feel a calloused hand search for my discomfort. The soft jab strikes again and Mason is just in time to catch it - boy would I give my all to have that smile on his sinful lips forever.
“Micah is kicking --”
We both freeze, his smile still very much on display but I could see the apprehension in his smouldering eyes.
"Micah is kicking.” I clarify sternly and trust me; I’m not a happy Sally.
"Isabella, tesoro. We’re having two girls.”
"Boys, we’re having two boys, Micah and Michael.”
“No,” Mason bellows as he shifts to attain another soft kick “Isabella and Annabella, micio.”
He just pulled out the micio card, the friggin’ micio card and he means business.
“I love you,” I pucker my lips for him but he shifts away, muttering something about morning breath. Rolling my eyes, I press my lips on his forehead soothingly and he embraces me warmly “we’re having two boys, peace!”
I was long gone, running down the stairs while Mason argued about the genders in Italian. Syria gasps softly at my sudden outburst into the kitchen so I kiss her cheek quickly before taking my packed lunchbox and biding her goodbye. She said something about packing some leftover tiramisu for me but I couldn’t really say anything back because of my hasty actions.
“Blair, do you hear anyone talking honey?” Walter squints his eyes while staring out into the distance behind Betsy. Blair she too mirrors his actions and they both start to seek for this ′place’ they seem to be hearing voices from.
They had every right to be angry, I don’t even blame them because I last promised Walter coffee and things didn’t go as planned. As for Blair, I used her. Yes, as disgusting as that may sound, I used Blair Armel. I used my gorgeous friend to gain access into the private rooms of Destiny’s Arch and not once did I ever say thank you.
“Look, I’ve been an absolute dìck ever since Mason DeLuca came into my life --”
Nice one. Throwing someone else under the bus I see? My conscience arches a brow with a chilling smirk playing on her lips.
“And I know that you two hate me right about now,” my pride squirms off her high throne “I hate me right about now. I finally have a dad,” that sounded incredibly wrong “like, I’ve had a dad since I was born and I’ve only started to know him now. He was with us at the dinner table.”
Blair scoffs bitterly to herself, “he touched my asṡ and told me he wanted to watch me shower.”
I couldn’t blame Germaul; white women look incredible while showering. They don’t actually look like their washing at all and men could actually get off the sight.
I gesture to my belly, “I’m pregnant, nearly three months to go. Twins, two awesome twins who keep mommy awake.”
“They had better be named Walter and Edward when they pop out of there.” Walter rolls his eyes harshly before brushing Betsy’s handle.
I messed up bad, didn’t I?
“Mason can be my world, I could always give him my world but there’s always one place I’ll always go back to.”
“Work?” Blair clicks her tongue, incandescent eyes shooting daggers at me.
“No,” I bellow with a hint of a smile “home. I’ll always come back home and Waltair is my home. See what I did there? The whole Waltair thing? Ship name? Hello?” (A/N: it’s pronounced Walt--air)
Blair rolls her eyes once again and I find it frightening that I can’t read her anymore, “it’s Waltairnelle,” in a few seconds I’m enveloped into a bone-crushing hug that left me with no oxygen whatsoever while my best friends embraced me warmly. Micah, our forever hyperactive one, finds the moment fit to give me another jab, surprising both Walter and Blair. They were curious, asking a lot of questions but I couldn’t answer them right now. Hell, I needed to get over to Nathan’s house.
“So, it’s a grab and go?” Blair enquires softly while I kill the engine.
The plan was simple, really simple. All we had to do was have my two best friends head down to the cottage while I dashed upstairs to look for any piece of evidence I could find. My searching will have to be brief because I don’t have much time on my hands but I’m sure I’d be able to work something out with my lack of time management.
We looked quite inconspicuous really. Blair was dressed in washed-out dungarees with matching sneaker-styled heels and her crimson flawless hair was in a tight high ponytail. Walter was casual, ripped skinny jeans, a plaid shirt and a black flannel hat. My look was way too casual for work and fortunately, I didn’t plan on going to work today. Mickey and Micah were debuted in yellow-gold jumpsuit with gold pumps and my unruly hair was placed into two braided buns onto my head, the type FKA twigs will normally sport.
Mind you that they were only accomplished on our drive to Nathaniel’s place and without Blair I wouldn’t know where to begin with this insane mane of mine. The simple look was finished off with the jewel-clad necklace Mason bought for me from that jewellery store where we got our rings.
“Remember, Italians are hot so don’t flirt with them or else attention will be drawn to us.” My eyes find a very heated caramel pool “this goes for you as well, Walter.”
Walter breaks out into a snort not long before a guilty smile hangs sheepishly on his lips, “is it because of I’m for a bisexual?”
I nod curtly with a crude smirk, “you know how you get when you’re with them Italians and Spanish people.”
Walter raises his hands in mock surrender, ”si, mami. Blair and I will be sure to control ourselves for Jaenelle is on a secret mission.”
His British accent just went well with his speech like peaches and cream would. Wasting no more time, my girls and I brace ourselves as I throw a cupped hand at the door several times. And yes, I did say my girls and because Walter has been keen towards his team these past few days. An obnoxious guard opens the door with a snarl on display before dropping it completely and smiling incredibly polite. He was burly with dark raven cropped hair and same coloured eyes.
“Mrs. DeLuca, pleasant surprise, no?”
My heart shrivels in my chest like a dying plant but I manage to keep it from plain sight, “Signore Cavelli, the pleasure is all mine. I left a few of my things in the basement while I was here and I’d feel horrible if I didn’t get them back.”
“Why you bring two friends, yes?”
Hey buddy! Let us in! We’re bloody pregnant here! My conscience seethes over a delicious sub sandwich.
“Marko,” I address him with a low, cruel tone that I wasn’t sure I could even muster “as you can see I am very pregnant and I can’t be on my feet too long. Grant me access to this house or picture yourself testicle-less.”
Marko gulps visibly, eyes widened in painful memory and he coughs, “let me get it for you, Mrs. DeLuca. Pregnant is tiring, yes?”
And all doors of hell push right open, “The door. Widen it. Now.”
Marko opens the door wider and I stalk into the house, not allowing the crucial detail of Marko being the only available guard to slip my mind at all. Blair gets into work completely and by my side is Walter assisting in the cruel, corrupt plan I had set out.
After disappearing from hindsight, Walter and I dart to find Nathaniel’s room and within time, Walter calls me over. Nathan’s room was exactly how I remember it: homely and such a contrast from the rest of his house. Recalling a few details of that day, I stalk into Nathaniel’s large walk in closet and frown.
“Walter!” I shout loud enough for only him to hear me and he joins me in the closet.
Walter releases a long whistle, “Holy motherfúcking crumpets.”
The room was in disarray, everything tossed everywhere and I couldn’t even spot an indication of files anywhere. I was screwed, both Walter and I were screwed but there was nothing we could do about it other than sucking it up.
Is this worth it?
“So, where do we begin?”
I release a long exhale, “find a place.”
“So you want to tell me that you’re gutted for not going to prom with Mason? C’mon Jae, grow up.”
“You could’ve asked anyone to go with him, anyone but you just had to go with Twanika.”
“Jae, you’re the fat one. Get it, F.A.T. Imagine how you’d look in that prom picture, huh? That picture will forever exist and you will forever be tormented by it. Do you want that? Do you want to be tormented forever by a picture that many will remember?”
“N-no but --”
“Exactly! If anything I’d say I was protecting you.”
“I don’t get why you’re giving up on me Mona because I wouldn’t do the same to you!”
“Exactly, you wouldn’t because your little pure heart can’t bear the pain of doing that to me. Trust me princess, you wouldn’t give up on me, you’re too kind for that.”
In the deep embedding of filthy female underwear piled on top of each other I found light at the end of the tunnel. Flash drives upon flash drives labelled in foreign languages filled up a cardboard box and even I couldn’t hide my delight. The feeling was maddening because I was nearly completing the case and a step away from achieving the acknowledgement I know I deserve.
“What do we have here?”
That squeaky female voice was too familiar and almost in reflex, I shoved the shoebox to Walter and eyed him pleadingly. Walter was startled at first but he soon got the memo after I gave him an intense gaze. Carefully, I rise onto my feet and turn around to look toward a very fresh-faced Selena.
"Cat caught your tongue, micio?” she snickers loudly, her eyes squinted shut and that grants me ample opportunity to gesture Walter out of the room. Walter doesn’t need to be told twice and dashes out with the cheap shoebox.
“What the hell are you doing in Nathaniel’s house?”
Bitterness seeps right through my speech, “I should be asking you that exact same question.”
Selena was glowing in a knee-length lace sundress and black gladiator heels. Her face was fresh, free of makeup and her hair was in an effortless fishtail braid.
“Fiery one,” she grins slyly “I don’t know what’s more scandalous. You digging through Nathaniel’s things or you sniffing the underwear of his mistresses.”
“You have your kicks and I have mine.”
“Seems like Mason gets his kicks like you or should I say, vice versa?” Her grin falls after finding that I have no intention of breaking down from her words “meaning he always found delight in sniffing my underwear --”
“Bìtch who in the fúcking hell asked you?” Selena’s mouth plops open and satisfaction begins to stirs deep within the confines of my rib chamber “you are so fúcking grown it’s not even funny. Mason married me; Mason made a sole promise in front of the whole church to love and to keep me forever until death does us apart. Doesn’t it get boring? Taunting me, I mean. I’m pregnant, two kids at once translating directly to twins and his undying love just turned into minus undying love. You are sure of negative integers right? I mean, education is such a vital agent in life these days. I bet twirling on a pole doesn’t pie y in order for you to find x, now does it?”
Selena’s lips part and close numerously as if to mimic a guppy fish but in the end I had won the title of slayage, “do me a favour and get the hell out of my business or else I will ask you to find the atomic mass of Hoe-Can-Leave all over your nasty face.” Her eyes are really perplexed “that stands for HCl, look it up sweetheart.”