“Yeah, but he isn’t even my dad,” Cade says.
“What?” I ask in shock.
“He isn’t my biological father, he raised me though. That’s why Noah and Kyle look different than me. Only me, him, and my mom know. After she was raped last year, I found out. My dad was so mad at me it slipped out, I asked my mom and she confirmed it. My mom was raped before and got pregnant with me. So, my real dad is a rapist.”
I look at Cade for a moment. He looks broken and defeated. No wonder he had given up on himself. “Oh Cade, that would have been so hard to hear,” I say sympathetically.
“Yeah, it was. That’s part of the reason I did so badly last year. It also adds another layer of guilt, my dad doesn’t seem so bad after hearing about my biological father. But if my dad’s a rapist too, then well I don’t even know what to think.” Cade says with a sad laugh.
I felt horrible, I didn’t know if I should have told Cade about his father. My plan backfired, I wanted to tell Cade about his dad and then slowly ease him into helping me take him down. I only found out about the dealership parties after hacking into his dad’s computer. I had a whole plan of what to talk about to get him to look into his dad more and come to me for help. I thought it was working but now this bomb was dropped.
I cared about Cade, and I don’t think digging into his father and family problems was helpful to him. At that moment I decided to leave all this father stuff for a while. I wanted to be able to be with Cade without all these lies, but I couldn’t seem to do it in a good way.
I liked him so much and all I was doing was causing him more pain. What kind of person does this? Why can’t I just be normal?
“Hey, are you okay?” Cade asks.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” I say returning from my thoughts.
“You don’t need to apologize to me, we both have complicated relationships and pasts with our fathers, it is more than okay to get a bit upset when we talk about it, Lola,” Cade says compassionately.
“Jesus Cade, how’d you get so perfect?” I blurt out, this guy was too good for me, and he had no idea.
“I’m anything but perfect. You know that. Let’s change the topic we are both bummed out.” Cade says with a sigh.
“Hmmm, what’s your favorite type of ice cream?” I ask him also wanting to change the direction of our conversation.
“Probably cookie dough you?”
“Defiantly birthday cake.”
We go on with lighter topics for a while. I slowly stop thinking about my guilt because I’m enjoying my time so much. The cupcakes he made were really good, especially for his first try at baking. As the sun begins to set, we lay down and cuddled on the blanket. I can’t believe how much my life had changed in just 2 months.
In the summer I didn’t think I’d be able to go to school let alone date someone. Now I was living a life I loved. For the most part, there was still the whole lying and deceiving thing, but other than that I couldn’t be happier.
Acting on my happiness I lean over and kiss Cade. He responds and grabs my waist while he kisses me back. At first, I tense up but then relax after I remind myself it’s Cade. He seems to notice as he doesn’t move his hands anywhere else.
We make out for a while. As I start to feel more comfortable and bolder, I decide to roll so I’m on top of Cade. I let my hands roam over his stomach, his hands begin to roam, and I don’t flinch this time. He grabs my butt and I enjoy it. I trust Cade and I am so happy I am able to do this with him.
After a while Cade begins to flip us, he breaks away and asks, “Is this good?”
“Yeah,” I reply quickly. We start to kiss more. One of my hands plays with the hair and the back of Cade’s neck while the other runs down his back. Cade has one hand on my face and his other hand is holding him up. I feel the hand on my face run down my shoulder and to my side. Then Cade starts to kiss my neck. I moan as he does this, so he continues.
He grabs the hand I have on his back and interlocks our fingers. He kisses across my chest while bringing our hand to my side.
As he pushes my hand into the blanket, I feel a wave of panic course through me, and I freeze. Everything starts to go white. I hear Cade trying to talk to me, but I can’t hear him because my ears are ringing. I sit up and frantically try to look around, but I can’t see properly.
“Lola, it’s me Cade, you’re okay, please just breath with me.” I hear and begin to follow his instructions.
“In, out, in, out.”
Once I can see and breathe properly, I start to realize what just happened. I put my hand on my cheek and feel tears.
“I’m so sorry Cade, that was not you at all. I was enjoying it but when you pushed my hand down and pinned it something flipped and I, I,” I try to explain as quickly as I can while losing my breath again.
“Hey, don’t apologize, it is totally okay. you’ve been through a lot.” Cade says while stroking my shoulder.
“There are some things that bring back memories, I thought it would be different with you though. I trust you and it was amazing until then end.” I try my best to explain.
“What if you told me somethings not to do so I know, one would be not to pin your hands down.”
“Yeah, any sort of pinning me down. Um also putting your entire weight on me. Oh, also no hands on my throat.” I tell him.
Cade nods, “okay, just let me know if you think of anything else. And never be afraid to stop me if you don’t like something.”
I nod and wipe my tears away. “Thanks,” I whisper. I am so grateful for how he is being.
After that, we cuddle for a while until I need to go home. We have school the next day so I can’t stay up too late. I dropped Cade off at his house and then I drive myself home.
As I’m getting out of my car, I hear a noise and jump. I turn and see that it’s Leo.
“Jesus, you scared me,” I say.
“Sorry, Xavier is coming tomorrow and wants to meet with you. He’s really happy with your work he wants to talk about the next steps.”
“Oh okay, why didn’t you just text me that?” I ask wondering why he came to my house.
“Well, I actually wanted to show you something. I thought it would be better to tell you in person.” Leo explains making me curious.
“Okay, what is it?”
Leo pulls out his phone and shows me a photo of a silver car. “This car has been following you, it has been for 3 weeks. At first, it was about once a day, but now it goes everywhere with you.”
“Do you know who it is?”
“No, I couldn’t see their face, the windows were tinted out. I ran the plates, but nothing came up, it’s invalid.” Leo explains.
A fearful look washes over my face. “Any idea who it could be?” Leo asks.
I think for a moment. A lot of people cross my mind. The first is Will, my dad’s former partner. Maybe it was a family member of the men who kidnapped and raped me. It could be someone from that underground fighting ring or maybe Jeffery figured out I broke into his office and now has someone following me.
“Way too many to even narrow it down,” I reply.
“I’m going to follow the car tomorrow when you meet with Xavier, I don’t want whoever this is finding out more information on us. I want you to drive out of the city on some back roads. I’ll run the car off the road and then you can go meet with Xavier.”
“Do you want me to help you deal with whoever it is once you’ve run them off the road?” I ask.
“Nah, I’ll call you if I need help but by the looks of it, it’s one person. I should be fine.”
“Okay, thanks for keeping an eye out,” I say taking a deep breath in hopes of calming myself down. I don’t want to have another panic attack today.
“Yeah, no problem. If it’s that cop guy what do you want to do with him?”
“I’m not sure, maybe scare him. We can’t kill him it’ll look too suspicious.” I say.
“Okay got it. I’ll come by tomorrow and we can do this. See you.”
“Bye,” I say and then go into my apartment.
The whole night I tossed and turned because of this new information. I kept running worst-case seniors through my head. What if it was Jeffery and he figured out what I was doing. What if he told Cade?
Eventually, I fell asleep. I wake up when my alarm goes off. I decided to go through my day as normal. If Cade knew I’d find out as soon as I saw him. If not, I’d hope for the best. That both he and his dad knew nothing.