Chapter 7 : Caleb
Chapter 7 : Caleb
Friday, July 16th, 2021
She’s even better in person, and that scares me.
I stopped feeling things for people romantically years ago, but the second Madelyn walked through that door, something felt a little different. Like a small fire inside of me had been relit after years of being snuffed out.
Don’t get me wrong, I most certainly did not become celibate after joining the mafia, but I haven’t been in an actual relationship since I was sixteen. It has been thirteen years since my heart has felt anything in that way, but Madelyn Adams was a surprise I never saw coming.
Sure, there was the shock of her walking into the same cafe as me, and surprise at the fact Jolene allowed her to call her by her first name. There was also surprise in myself at how angry I was when I saw that she was upset.
She tried to hide it, but I could definitely tell.
At first, I was angry with myself, assuming that the others and I were the cause of her held back tears, when in reality it was her piece of shit boyfriend who cheated on her.
If I thought I was mad before, then that would make me furious now.
Of course, I didn’t show that. Instead, I used Madelyn as a distraction to prevent myself from my own lethal thoughts. Thankfully, it worked.
She sure was fun to tease.
I could practically see how fast her heart was beating and I didn’t miss the shivers that passed through her body at the sound of my voice. She was so responsive to me, and I had barely even done anything.
I should have left when I first saw her, because now I can’t stop wondering about what it would be like if she were mine.
Funny how last night I’d been preparing myself for her death and now I’m fighting the urge to leave now and track down who Jolene calls Vanilla. All in good time I suppose.
Thinking back to only minutes ago, I can’t help but feel a little regret for touching her. It was a mistake— adding fuel to the fire within me when I know it will never be able to fully light.
The mafia is responsible for that.
She would be perfect for me—for us—, but I can’t let myself think that way. Even after seeing her today, there’s still the issue of what we’re going to do about her.
Honestly, I’m surprised Xavier’s dad hasn’t called by now and given the order to kill her. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before it happens, but I don’t want to think about that yet.
Instead, I watched as Madelyn left the cafe, her hips swaying slightly with each step. She’s so incredibly beautiful, and my guess is that she doesn’t even know it.
The front door closes behind her, leaving Jolene, Pablo, and I on our own.
“No.” Jolene sterns the second Madelyn is gone.
“I didn’t say anything.”
Turning towards me, she looks me dead in the eyes, “You didn’t have to, I already know. Leave her alone.”
“No, let me talk. That girl has been through more shit than anyone I’ve ever met and that includes you. She hasn’t told me any specifics, but I just know.” She lets out a long sigh. “She doesn’t need to get tangled in with the likes of you.”
I don’t take offense in Jolene’s words, because she’s right. Being with me also means constant danger. I also know that if I ever got a real taste of being with Madelyn, I would never let go.
“I know.” I agreed, but that still doesn’t diminish my interest.
“Good.” She pauses for a moment before continuing, “Now go make sure that jackass doesn’t give her any trouble.”
This makes me smile. I had already planned on it.
“What does she drive?”
“Not sure, but it’s black and looks like something from a junkyard.”
How can she afford a hotel for days then? She has to be close to at least $1,000 on room fees by now.
“Do you have Noah’s address?”
“Nope, but she’ll still be parked on the street.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because it typically takes a couple tries before it actually starts.”
This car sounds like a deathtrap on wheels. Jolene can tell what I’m thinking too.
“Not everyone has the pleasure of having unlimited money Cal.”
“You know I know that.” I didn’t always have the money that I do now, and Jolene is well aware of this.
“And now you’re in the mafia, so you aren’t allowed to criticize Madelyn on what is and isn’t safe.”
“And why do you care Mr. I-don’t-do-feelings?”
She got me there.
“I don’t.” I lie, just about ready to leave. “I should head out and make sure everything’s good.”
Jolene just stands there for a moment with her arms crossed. “Fine, but promise me one thing first.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t go near her.” I instantly respond. I already know this.
“Good, but that’s not what I was going to say. You need to leave Noah alone too.”
Like hell that’s happening, “Are we talking about the same person here?”
This just earns me an eye roll. “She’s heartbroken, and the last thing Madelyn needs is to find out on the news that her ex has been murdered.”
I just stand there for a moment, trying to figure out if she’s serious or not... She is.
“Fine, I won’t kill him.” I promise.
Doesn’t mean we can’t still pay him a visit.
“Caleb.” Jolene warns.
“I mean it. I won’t kill him. Nothing worthy of news coverage, okay?”
She narrows her eyes at me, picking up on my very specific use of words, “You’re trouble, you know that?”
“Yes.” I grin, knowing she’s not going to further protest.
“Fine. Now give me a hug so you can leave.”
I do just that.
Jolene is Alec’s aunt, so we’ve gotten pretty close with each other. It had taken me a full year before we were on a first name basis though, which was why I was so surprised Madelyn was allowed to.
My research says she only moved here recently.
“Thanks for lunch. It was nice seeing you again.” I say, kissing Jolene on the cheek before pulling away.
“Don’t be a stranger.”
“I won’t.” I promise, “Next time, I’ll even drag Xavier and Alec with me to make up for how long it’s been.” This seems to please her.
“Good, now go.” She orders, “And Caleb, you do well to remember what I said.”
“I will, I will.” I reassure before exiting the small cafe.
Getting into my car, it really didn’t take me long to locate Madelyn. Jolene was right with the description of her driving a deathtrap.
She was parked just down the road from where I am. Through the window, I could see her leaning her head against the steering wheel, seemingly deep in thought.
I wonder what was going through that pretty head of hers. Was she thinking about me, because I couldn’t stop thinking about her?
She just sat there, unmoving, and making no effort to start her car. That’s okay though. I can wait.
Last night, I could instantly tell that all three of us were intrigued by Madelyn. But because of this, I almost wish that I didn’t have to see her again.
After talking to her, touching her, I knew I was hooked.
I don’t have an issue admitting it either. If it weren’t for the mafia, I would have already tried to pursue Madelyn. Unfortunately, that’s simply not possible.
It’s a nice thought though, the three of us getting to own every inch of that body of hers.
The problem is that this is reality. Now that we’ve actually talked to each other, I wanted her for more than just a night.
What’s even worse was that despite Jolene’s warning to stay away, that was no longer possible. Xavier will have to tell his dad about yesterday and then follow whatever shitty orders he gives.
I can only hope that her death isn’t the outcome.
Xavier may try to resist what he felt, but I have a strong feeling he’ll do what he can to stop what I dread.
I was with Alec this morning when he received a call from Officer Charlotte Jones, explaining the miracle of Madelyn having her phone on her, despite Xavier taking it.
I know he went to visit her last night, and I also know that he even made the effort to clean up her entire goddamn room.
You could say it was a shock that someone as cold hearted as Xavier Alcaraz stayed long enough to the point where I had to erase the footage of him leaving room 155 with a handful of take out containers in hand.
Seems to me like Madelyn Adams had all of our attention, and she didn’t even know it yet. But she will. One way or another, knowing the three of us is inevitable now.
It didn’t take long before Madelyn pulled away from the curb and started to drive away.
Like Jolene said it would, it took her a few tries before the engine of her small black car started up.
I followed behind her from a distance, so she wouldn’t see me until we arrived at what I’m guessing to be Noah’s place. It was just about as shitty as her car, and I once again wonder how on Earth she’s affording to live in a hotel.
I sat here for a few and watched as she loaded in a series of bags, before leaving perfectly safe ten minutes later.
It gave me peace of mind seeing her unharmed, but that didn’t change the fact that Noah would still be seeing me again very soon.
I shoot Jolene a quick text telling her everything went fine, before contemplating on what to do now. I needed to get a grip on myself first.
I really shouldn’t be wasting my time on making sure someone who is practically a stranger to me was safe. If it were anyone else, I wouldn’t have.
We’re the mafia after all. I could’ve sent out one quick order and someone else would have kept an eye on her for me, but I didn’t. Instead, I did the work myself.
Just as I’m about to leave, I hear a text notification coming from my phone.
From Xavier: Vincent called. Get back to the base.
Vincent is his dad, the head of our mafia. Xavier started addressing his father by his first name a long time ago, and guessing by his vagueness, it’s not good news for Madelyn.
The worst part is that if we get ordered to kill her, we would have no choice but to do it. I can only hope that’s not the case.
To Xavier: Be right there. I’m about 30 minutes out.
Clicking send, I don’t wait for his response. Tossing my phone in the front console, I pull away from the sidewalk and speed out of whatever poor neighborhood I was in.
We lived in the Upper East Side, and the base wasn’t far from it.
It wasn’t until 1:25 that I got back to the ridiculously large place we work at.
I’m going to be honest, I was a little nervous about the news. I wasn’t ready to hear that I had to kill that beautiful girl, but I didn’t exactly have a choice.
Taking the elevator up, I see that Alec and Xavier are already in the room, both wearing grim looks on their faces.
“So...” I say, waiting to hear the news, “What’s the verdict?”
“We’re off work for the next month.” Xavier responds, taking a large gulp of whatever he was drinking in his hand.
“What do you mean off work?” I ask, surprised. The last time I wasn’t constantly worrying about mafia business was the day before my induction ceremony. That was years ago.
“I mean, Vincent said we need to lay low until things settle down. Apparently Marcus’ followers are planning something big, and he doesn’t want us to spook him by poking around too much.” Xavier says, slamming his glass down on the table. “It’s a load of bullshit if you ask me. If he’s up to something, we should only be pressing harder to take him down now.”
This seriously doesn’t make any sense. We don’t just get the month off. That’s not how it works with us.
“What’s the catch here?” I ask.
“I don’t know and that’s the problem. ′Son, you need to learn the value of patience.‘” Xavier imitates his fathers voice. “’Marcus needs to feel safe enough to come out if you’re going to find him and word getting out that we’re looking for him is not what we need.’”
Alec stands from the couch where he is sitting, “Maybe he’s right. We’ve been pushing a lot lately, and it could come back to bite us in the ass. It’s obvious at this point that Marcus knows how to hide and snakes don’t come out of hiding if they think there’s still a threat outside.”
“It’s fucking stupid. He knows we’re trying to get him either way. We can’t just sit around and wait for something bad to happen.” Xavier argues.
“Well I personally have no opposition to a month long vacation. It’s—”
“What about Madelyn?” I interrupt, completely switching the topic. I couldn’t care less about getting a month off, I’ll think about that later. Right now, I just need to know if the death of yet another is going to be on our hands.
“What about her?” Xavier grumbles, suddenly becoming seemingly evasive.
“What did Vincent have to say about last night?”
He stays quiet and looks to be having an internal battle with himself.
Looking towards Alec, I try to find clarification from him. He is the mind reader after all. He just smiles at me, and I can tell this only worsens Xavier’s decreasing mood.
“What is it?”
“He didn’t tell him.” Alec informs me.
“Xavier covered the whole thing up. As far as Vincent goes, he has never heard the name Madelyn Adams before.”
Holy shit. Looking at him, I can’t help but be a little surprised.
Xavier became the most emotionally detached from training out of the three of us. I could tell that he wanted Madelyn just as much as I did last night, but I didn’t think he would defy his father over her.
“So now what? We just leave her to live her life?”
“I don’t know.” Xavier snaps at me. I haven’t seen him this worked up in years, but it’s kind of nice to see. It makes the emotionless, scar-covered man before me seem a little more human. “I don’t know.” He says again, but this time much quieter.
“I say we just leave her alone.” Alec votes, “A lot of trouble could come from keeping her around and let’s be honest, we don’t even know her. She’s pretty, yeah, but she’s also a stranger.”
“You’re saying you don’t want her?” I question.
“I’m saying it’s not worth it. She doesn’t come from our world and placing her there would only lead to an inevitable disaster. That’s also assuming that she even wants us, let’s remember that. It’s not like we’d be easy people to be with, not to mention the fact that we’re probably now the cause of her nightmares.”
Alec’s not wrong, but my mind keeps drifting to every response she had to my touch earlier and how perfect she could be for the three of us. Maybe she could shed a little light on our dark, fucked up lives.
“So we’ll just leave it then. She’s a nuisance to us anyways.” Xavier says, “I just didn’t want her blood on my hands, but it’s not like she’s nothing we couldn’t find at the club.”
What a fucking liar.
His tone was convincing, but I knew him better than to believe that bullshit. Alec too, by the way he shakes his head at the comment, smiling from his denial.
I don’t speak, because despite my slight disappointment, I know it’s for the best. Instead, I move on from our conversation, “Now... what the hell are we going to do for the next four weeks?”
“Crazy thought, but maybe we could relax?” Alec answers sarcastically.
“Well, I mean there’s Carter’s wedding this weekend. We can kill some time there and figure the rest out after.” Xavier suggests.
“Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to scoop up one of the bridesmaids while we’re there.” Alec jokes.
We all laugh because we know it’s probably going to happen, but in the back of my mind is still a particular blonde I just can’t seem to shake.
- End of Chapter 7 -
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