“Calm down Lola, I’m not going to hurt you,” Jeffery says noticing how panicked I am.
“Why not?” I ask.
“Because you are too good for Cade. Plus, I can use you against Xavier,” Jeffery says and then pauses to watch me squirm. “You’re going to do what I say, eventually I’ll take everything Xaiver has, and then I’ll let you be. Maybe. That’s if you comply, you’ll do what I ask right Lola?” He asks with a contending tone.
“So, you want me to work as a double agent until what? You kill Xavier and take his things. Then you’ll let me be?” I ask to clarify.
“Yep, and if you don’t well, I’ll tell Cade all about you and I may do something to your mother, or Tomás or even Tessa if I’m feeling really evil. And don’t even think about telling Cade about this, he doesn’t need to be involved. If you do, I will kill your family. I want him to have a normal life and have no part in my business and that includes knowing what I actually do. I don’t appreciate you telling him about my business dealings Lola,” Jeffery says with a tight jaw.
“How did you figure it out?” I ask still in shock over him knowing. How could I have underestimated him so much?
“You aren’t that stealthy Lola; we have security footage all over our neighborhood. You were the only guest in my home the night my computer was hacked. After Cade went to see you and somehow the next day a mysterious man popped up taking the blame, I knew something was off. Then when I found out that man had a connection to Xaiver I knew it was you who broke in and that you were working for Xavier. I have to say you did a good job, coming in right under my nose like that. You should have left and never came back.” Jeffery tells me.
I sit and stare at an elk head that is mounted on the wall. What am I supposed to do? I can’t say no to him now, I’m at his remote cabin with almost my whole family. Maybe I could tell Xavier once we get back and work something out with him. But Jeffery will be watching me so that could easily backfire. Maybe I should tell Cade everything. But what could he do to help, he has no power over his father. Plus, Jeffery said he’d kill my family if I did. I was not willing to take that risk.
“So, Lola, do we have a deal?” Jeffery says startling me out of my thoughts.
I think for a moment longer, the best plan, for now, is to go with Jeffery and figure something out once we get back to Phoenix. I could do this; I had gotten myself out of far worse. “I guess I’ll work with you then, I have no options, do I?” I say coldly.
“That’s one way to look at it,” Jeffery says and stands up. He holds out his hand for me. I take it reluctantly and shake. “I guess I don’t have to test you like I did Laura, you are very different than any girl my boys have ever brought home. Won’t have to make sure you can keep a secret since I already know you can.” Jeffery says with a wink. He gives me an evil smile and says, “Have a good relaxing weekend here, when we get back, I’ll have a lot of work for you. Better enjoy yourself while you still can.”
I nod and leave the room with my bags. On my way up to the room, I think about what he said about testing Laura. Did he attempt to sleep with her to see if she’d tell Kyle? That’s a very fucked up way to see if someone can keep a secret. Sure, if his plan was for Kyle to take over the business whoever his partner was would need to be able to keep it a secret. But that wasn’t an okay way to find out if she could. God, I do not want to work for Jeffery, but I don’t know what else to do.
I open the door that Cade pointed out as our room and walk inside. Strangely Cade isn’t in our room at the moment. I decide to wait here for him, I don’t want any more run-ins with Jeffery. The room is breathtaking, the bed is up on a platform and surrounded by windows. The view is of the forest, I can see evergreen trees covered in snow all around. We also have a large area with drawers and a tv. I place my suitcase on top of one of the dressers and change into my pajamas. Once I’m done, I check my phone. I see that Maria has texted, so I open it and read what she said.
I’m so sorry to have to text you this but I’ve tried calling and you didn’t pick up. Your mom isn’t doing too good, she is in the hospital. She took all her meds at some point after you left. I found her and called the ambulance.
I immediately call Maria when I read this.
“Hola Lola,” Maria answers.
“Hey, how is she doing now? Should I come back?” I rapidly ask.
“Está mejor, le bombearon el estómago y estará internada durante 72 horas. Deberías quedarte, ella no tiene permitido visitas después de esta noche, no tendría sentido arruinar tu viaje.” Maria says. (She’s better got her stomach pumped and is going to be admitted for 72 hours. You should stay she isn’t allowed visitors after tonight there’d be no point to ruin your trip.)
“Okay, thanks for letting me know, did she say why?” I ask while I pace the small room.
“No quiero repetir lo que dijo, no es bueno que lo escuches,” Maria says with a sad tone. (I don’t want to repeat what she said, it’s not good for you to hear.) After a moment of silence Maria adds, “Intenta divertirte, te lo mereces. Tienes demasiado sobre tus hombros.” (Try to have fun you deserve it. You have too much on your shoulders.)
“I’ll try my best, again thanks for looking out for her,” I say.
“No hay problema, ella es mi mejor amiga después de todo. Nos vemos en 4 días, adiós.” Maria replies. (It’s no problem, she’s my best friend after all. See you in 4 days, bye.)
“Adiós,” I say and then hang up.
As what my mother tried to do sets in, I start to cry. As I’m crying everything else begins to pile up. The fact that Jeffery figured out what I was doing. That I just killed 2 men last week. That I can’t tell Cade because Jeffery would kill my family. I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. I begin sobbing the more, I think. I can’t take my life anymore, somethings got to give. I can’t keep living like this.
I jump on the bed and scream into a pillow as I sob. I need to get out of this, but I don’t know-how. I’m so angry and frustrated at myself for getting into this situation and putting my family at risk. I let it out by whaling.
I hear the door open and Cade walks in. “Oh my god Lola, what happened?” He asks me as I look at him while continuing to sob.
“I, I- Can’t, I” I try to speak through tears, uneven breathing, and hiccups.
Cade comes over and hugs me, “Let it out and then you can tell me.”
As I cry and let it all out. I briefly think about telling Cade everything. I could trust him, and we could figure this out together but then Jeffery’s words pop into my head. If I tell him and Jeffry finds out my family is dead. He could have this room bugged for all I know. If I do tell Cade I’d need to make sure Jeffery didn’t find out, at least until he couldn’t do anything about it.
I decide to tell him what I can for the moment. I pull back and say with a hoarse voice, “My mom tried to kill herself, she’s in the hospital.”
“Oh no, I’m so sorry Lola. Do you want to go back, I can book you a flight right now,” Cade says grabbing his phone.
“No, she can’t have visitors and is being admitted to the psych ward for 72 hours, hopefully, longer once they see how complex her issues are. If I went back, I couldn’t even see her.” I tell him. We sit in silence for a moment, I stare at the rug and try to stop thinking about anything. “How about we lay down and try to sleep. I’m exhausted and I think that’s why I got that upset.”
“Sure,” Cade says. He gets undressed down to his boxers while I climb into the bed. Once he’s ready he gets in after me. He pulls me against him, and I cuddle into his chest. “So, what took you so long? I went to find you and Tomás was asleep. I looked all around and then found you back here. My dad didn’t try anything did he?”
“No, I had to grab my bags and got lost trying to get to the front door and then got lost again on my way back. I didn’t want to turn any lights on in case I woke someone but that turned out to make it a lot harder to get around.” I lie.
“Yeah, it’s a pretty big cabin,” Cade says trailing off. He slowly draws circles on my shoulder which relaxes me.
“I’m surprised Laura came,” I say changing the topic.
“Me too, but she asked me to keep an eye out for my dad for her. I think having all of us here with her was what made her decision,” Cade explains.
“Can I tell you something?” I ask.
“Of course,” Cade replies and then gives me a kiss on the forehead.
“I killed 2 men for money last weekend. I can barely sleep because of it,” I blurt out. I guess I want to tell Cade as much as I can. Maybe it’ll make things easier.
He gives me a squeeze while he thinks of what to say, “Do you think you’ll get caught?”
“Probably not,” I answer.
“Well then just try to forget. Next time let me help with money, you don’t have to do these things anymore. You have people who love and care about you that can help,” Cade says.
“It’s not that simple, I have a sort of contract with this guy. I have to do as he says. I’ll try to get out of it next time but I’m not so sure he’ll let me,” I say while staring out into the forest. As I look, I see a snowy owl on a tree branch. I watch as it looks around. When it spots me staring it flies away.
“Try to yeah, I want to help you, Lola, it’s not just you anymore. Next time you are in trouble come to me, Okay?” Cade asks.
“Okay,” I reply knowing full well I can’t, even though that’s all I want to do.
After that, we lay cuddling in silence. I watch outside and slowly notice Cade drifting to sleep. Even though I am exhausted sleep doesn’t come easily to me, I toss and turn for a couple of hours thinking of ideas of how to fix the mess I’m in. By 1 am I fall asleep with no good ideas on how to correct the situation.