The Bad Things

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Chapter 15. Coward

It had been a month since I took the chair. A couple of relations were lost completely, but it didn’t matter much—at least that is what Angel and Mom told me. Part of me felt bad or like there had to be something I could do to fix it. Death threats were coming at me from four different street gangs we used to deal with, and this had Abigail concerned.

Our wedding date had been set, and Abigail kept herself mostly busy with those plans. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to help too much with that. However, my work had been cut out for me too. It seemed that I had to fly off to some foreign country every couple of days. It resembled the life of a rock star—money, jets, people, and fancy hotels.

Some people even asked for my autograph because apparently, my family designed their favorite clothes or furniture—the expensive kind. Ridiculous is what I called it. I wasn’t famous, but people treated me that way. If I said jump, they would ask how high. When you were the king of all Latin Kings, people bowed down to you.

Angel, Mia, and their kids had moved into another mansion a few miles from mine, which wasn’t far from Mom and Dad. Angel and Mia did go on their vacation, but they were already back. The entire mansion had been left to me, Abby, and Stormy, but I hadn’t been home most of the month.

I would finally be home in an hour, and I had been gone a whole week. Stormy stayed with my parents, and she would be home in the morning. Abigail would be at the airport to pick me up. I flew first class back home.

Angel and Mom took their private jets when they moved, and I didn’t have time to look around for one yet, nor did I care.

One of the flight attendants smiled at me flirtatiously. I rolled my eyes and gazed out the window. The plane flew lower, and the airport came into view. Finally—I thought to myself. I missed Abigail like crazy. It had been a long week, and now I would get to be home until after our honeymoon was over.

“Welcome home,” the blond flirty flight attendant said.

A light bulb turned on in my head. I tilted my head and pretended to be confused for a moment. “Mm, gracias, Señorita,” I said and smirked.

She cleared her voice and nodded awkwardly. Surely, she understood enough Spanish to recognize what I said, but it stopped her from saying anything further to me.

I chuckled as I stepped off the plane. The airport wasn’t very busy, and it was late at night.

Abigail sat in one of the seats, reading a book while waiting for me.

“Hey, bebé,” I said as I approached.

Her head snapped up, and she dropped the book. “Babe!” she squealed excitedly. She jumped into my arms and smashed her lips to mine. She broke the kiss breathlessly and smiled. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too. Let’s get home.”

Abigail grabbed her book, and we headed for the exit. We crossed the parking lot to the car. Abigail brought the BMW.

Abigail tossed the keys to me. “You can drive.”

I didn’t argue. We climbed into the car. The night air was warm but not humid or sticky, so we didn’t need the air or the heat.

As we drove away from the airport, we talked about how things were for me away from home and how things went for her at home. There wasn’t much traffic. We saw a car go by every couple of miles. We neared one of the bridges that headed out of town, and a gunshot went off. The gunshot shattered the back window.

“Fuck. Get down!” I shouted. With my hand, I pushed Abigail’s head down and ducked. “Please tell me my guns are in here.”

Abigail opened up the center council and handed me my forty-five millimeter. She opened the center council and grabbed out the other forty-five.

“I’m going to spin this car around. Roll your window down and shoot. Aim for the tires,” I said.

“Okay.”

The car spun in the middle of the bridge. Abigail shot off six rounds at the black car, and the breaks of the other car squealed as it came to a stop. The windows were tinted, and I couldn’t make out what kind of car, but it looked like a Mercedes.

“You shot the windshield, too?”

“Yeah,” Abigail said. Her chest rose and fell heavily in shock. Our eyes locked for a moment before we both climbed out of the BMW.

The other car hadn’t moved, and I couldn’t make it out because of the headlights. The driver only had on his dims, but they were still too bright.

“Damn,” I muttered. I started for the car, but Abigail grabbed my arm.

“Wait, Andy. What if it’s a setup? Let’s just get the fuck out of here,” she said.

“I need to know who it is,” I argued. I started for the car again with Abigail behind me, clutching onto my arm.

Abigail and I made it within twenty feet of the car, and suddenly the brights turned on and blinded both of us. The engine of the car revved, and the car sped toward us.

Abigail’s jaw dropped in shock. “Andy!” she screamed.

“Fuck!” I hissed. I spun around, grabbed Abigail’s arms, and pulled both of us out of the car’s path. We fell to the ground. I pulled my gun up and shot at his tires, but it wasn’t any use. In the time it took me to let off two rounds, the car had disappeared.

“Who the hell was that?” Abigail gasped.

“I don’t know, but I intend to find out. Let’s get home.” I grabbed Abigail off the ground, and we walked back to our car, which sat in the middle of the bridge.

***

“Anyone that has threatened you is officially a suspect for this,” Angel said. “We’ll just have to go based on that for now.”

“Do you know the model of the car, or did you catch the plates?” Darren asked.

“No, man. It just happened too fast,” I said and shrugged. “I don’t know what to do. Maybe it won’t happen again.”

“Bro, from my personal experience, it always happens again. You’re going to have to take the person out,” Angel said.

Vic, Bruno, Darren, and the other guys watched me warily.

Andrea sat on the couch beside Angel across from me with a glass of bourbon. “This is just crazy. What about cameras?” Andrea asked.

“There aren’t any near that bridge,” I said.

“There has to be a camera that caught the car following you. You just didn’t notice the car until you got to the bridge,” Darren argued.

“Check the cameras if it makes you feel better,” I said and shrugged. “My guess is whoever it is, doesn’t want me to know who they are.”

They all stared at me with concern. I leaned back in my desk chair and thought about the car over and over again. There wasn’t anything about the car that held familiarity to me. However, if I could think about one characteristic of the vehicle, maybe it would help, but I drew a blank.

“Just look through the cameras. I told you the route I took. Honestly, I think the car was a rental. The license plate said Hertz on it. Isn’t that a rental from the airport?” I asked and shrugged.

“Man, you could have saved the last hour if you had told me this at the beginning of the conversation,” Darren said. He raised one arm in a half shrug and let it fall back to his side.

I rolled my eyes. “I’m sure you would do better in my position.”

“No,” Andrea said and shook her head. “And he knows it.”

Darren chuckled. “I’ll let you know if I figure it out.”

Andrea, Angel, and I left the study and started down the hall together. Andrea appeared to be lost in thought, and Angel’s expression remained blank.

“I’m putting money on the twenty-first street gang,” Andrea said. “They sent the most death threats to you.”

“Not me,” I argued. “It just doesn’t suit. Maybe they will come at me, eventually, but I really doubt this is them.”

“There is only one way to find out,” Angel said and smirked.

I pursed my lips and tilted my head toward my sister to catch her expression, and sure enough, she looked enthused at the idea.

“You know me. I’m always down to kick some ass,” Andrea said and smirked.

“Hell yeah,” I said and chuckled.

The three of us made it out to the garage, and we climbed into my other BMW, which was faster than the cops cared for. I could easily outrun the cops with this car. It was pretty much designed for it. I put the top down. Andrea jumped into the back, and Angel got up front with me.

“You got an address on these fools, I assume?” My gaze locked with Angel.

“There is a bar, a real shit hole, and it’s on the twenty-first street,” Angel said.

The streets weren’t crowded, which meant there wouldn’t likely be witnesses if something went down.

Andrea, Angel, and I walked into the bar, which smelled like sex, tobacco, vomit, and liquor. A guy laid passed out on the pool table. The men that we were looking for were front and center. They sat at a table closest to the entrance. Poker chips, cards, and beer bottles were scattered across the table. Their heads raised unwillingly to us.

“Thiago,” Angel said stiffly.

Thiago pursed his lip and stared at us. “You must have some gigantic cajones to walk into my fucking bar,” Thiago spat, his Latin accent thick in his angry voice.

Angel smirked. “My wife thinks my cajones are good size.” Only Angel would turn the conversation into something inappropriate. I wondered if they would start playing who had bigger balls.

“What do you want? I thought I made it clear that I wouldn’t deal with your brother,” Thiago said and crossed his arms over his chest.

“We’re Kings. Do you think that we need your business? We don’t. What’s with the threats?” Andrea’s voice came out with so much venom that I thought she might cause a catastrophe before we heard what Thiago had to say.

“It’s a bit arrogant to think you could take us, don’t you think? You’re some pathetic small-time street gang. We could wipe you and all of your families off the map. . .Just like you never even existed,” my voice came out low and soft. It didn’t sound threatening at all, but I noticed how my calmness made all of them tense like I was about to pounce. “Did you send your guys after me?”

Thiago shook his head. “Whatever problems you’re having, kid, they’re not coming from us. The threats were from my cousin, and I’ve dealt with him. It’s not going to happen again.”

“Let’s go,” I said.

“What?” Andrea challenged. “Not yet. I don’t believe them.”

“I do.” My gaze flickered back to them. “This wasn’t a street gang. Whoever it was had the money for a damn nice rental car.”

“It could be Mexican Mafia,” Angel suggested. “We’ve had nothing but problems from them since the dawn of time.”

“Are you calling us broke?” Thiago asked.

I turned my head back to the guy. “I’m saying that you don’t look like the kind of man that would rent an expensive car such as a Mercedes or an Audi. Am I wrong?”

Thiago chuckled and shook his head. “No way, man. I’m a Monte Carlo kind of guy. Good call.”

“Let’s get out of here,” I said.

This time Angel and Andrea agreed. We started for the door, but Thiago’s voice made all three of us stop mid-stride.

“Wait,” Thiago said.

“What?” I turned to face him.

“Business with you might not be so bad after all,” he said.

I pursed my lips and looked at Angel.

Angel mashed his lips in a straight line and shrugged. Clearly, it meant that it was my choice. Of course, it was my choice. Angel wasn’t the leader anymore.

It didn’t take me any time to think about it. “Man, I don’t think so. I don’t give second chances. Those types of mistakes are what gets a man killed.” I had cut off the Japanese as soon as I took the chair because they fucked with me one too many times.

Thiago sat back down in his chair slowly and nodded. Irritation clouded his eyes.

“But I won’t give you problems if you don’t give me problems.”

“No sweat,” he replied.

The three of us walked out of the bar and got back into the car. Andrea scooted forward to get closer to Angel and me.

“Andy, I hope you’re sure about this.” Andrea frowned as she leaned her head against Angel’s seat and stared at me.

“I’m sure.”

The drive home seemed quicker than the drive there. When we got home, Andrea and Angel left. I went to the study to find out if Darren learned anything new, but he hadn’t. I started for my desk, but before I reached it, the study door opened.

Abigail peeked her head inside. “Um, babe, can we talk?”

From the look on her face, I knew that she meant privately. Darren and the others were at computers trying to figure out what had happened the other night.

I followed Abigail from the study and down the hallway, which was empty. We made it out to the foyer, which was also empty, and she still hadn’t stopped to face me. My voice stopped her near the stairs. “How private is this conversation exactly?”

Abigail stopped but didn’t face me. Her body shifted slightly. “What do you mean?”

I stepped closer to her. My chest came in contact with her back, and she shivered slightly. “Is it necessary to go all the way to our bedroom? There isn’t anyone out here,” I said.

Abigail craned her neck to look up at me. “Um. . .” she trailed off and swallowed hard.

“Is it that bad?”

She grimaced. “Can we just please go to the bedroom?”

“Sure.” I gestured for her to lead the way.

We made it to the bedroom.

Abigail gestured for me to sit on the bed. “I think you should sit.”

“Bebé, I’m fine. Spill it.”

“Well, with everything going on, it’s horrid timing, but—”

The door flew open, and Stormy ran into the bedroom. “Mommy is going to have a baby!”

My jaw dropped, and the air escaped my lungs. No part of me considered that to even be a possibility, yet the signs were all there and had been for weeks. I stumbled back slightly and sank down onto the bed because my knees felt like they might give out. “Bebé. . .” I trailed off.

Abigail dropped her head into her hands and shook it back and forth. She dropped her hands and took a deep breath. Her eyes fell on our toddler. “Stormy, I told you that I wanted to tell Dad.”

“Oh. Sorry, Mommy. I was just so excited. I hope it’s a girl.” Stormy turned and ran from the bedroom.

I stared at Abigail. “How did this happen? I thought we were waiting?”

“We are. Well, we were,” Abigail said and grimaced. “I didn’t do it on purpose, Andy.” She stepped closer to me with a concerned expression.

My eyes fell to the floor. A couple of years ago, if anyone had told me that I’d have a baby, I wouldn’t have believed it. It wasn’t like I didn’t already have one child, but biologically this would be my first, and I would be there for all of it, which made it different. Not that I would love this child more than Stormy.

“Are you mad?” she asked. Her feet stopped in front of mine.

I gripped her hips, pulled her close, and buried my face just below her breasts. She rested her hands on my shoulders. I shook my head back and forth as if to tell her I wasn’t mad. Speechless, perhaps, but not mad. I lowered my head to her abdomen and pressed my lips to it before I got to my feet. “I’m not mad. That’s ridiculous. Why would you think that?”

“You wouldn’t say anything, and I know this isn’t like it is with Stormy because this one is actually yours. It’s probably going to change things between us and—”

“Why is that? Because it did with you and Jason? I’m not like him, Abby. I’m not going to spend my days high or drunk. I’m not going to ignore the responsibilities of being a dad, and I’m not going to make you do it on your own. The only real difference between Stormy and this child is that I’ll see all of the firsts for this child. I didn’t get that with Stormy, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t mine. I’ll still get to see more of her firsts than what Jason saw.” As I spoke, Abigail’s eyes melted and grew brighter.

“I love you so much, Andy,” she murmured. Tears filled her eyes. “I don’t know what we would do without you.”

“You won’t have to worry about that.”

“I don’t?” she challenged. “I’m a little worried.”

I ran my fingers through her hair. I lowered my lips to hers, and something about the kiss felt different from the others. Things between us were intense and clearer than ever before. We were bound in a way we weren’t before. Our connection had grown into something so much more powerful than either of us expected. I broke the kiss breathlessly and thought for sure if I tried to speak, it would come out a twist of slurred words.

“I need you,” she murmured and pulled me closer. Her words made my blood pump faster. I didn’t respond with words. My lips were in dire need to be back on hers. We fell onto the bed together, and when we broke apart, and her eyes met mine, they were intense and screamed desire.

“You keep looking at me like that bebé, and we’re going to have more kids than anyone else in this family,” I said breathlessly.

She combed her fingers through my hair and gave me a naughty smile. Her lips found their way to my jaw and stopped at my ear. A slur of dirty words left her mouth. Sometimes, I thought she teased me like that to make me move faster, and if so, it worked. In a matter of seconds, there weren’t any clothes between us—just her skin burning hot against mine.

***

Cotton candy practically hid Stormy’s face as she lost herself in it. The entire family decided the month had been too heavy, and we all needed a night out. We would go in different directions and come back together again.

Over the last month, whoever had been after me tried twice more. One of the times Abigail had been with me again, and we were ran off the road. I had to take Abigail to the hospital to ensure the baby was okay due to stomach cramps she had afterward. The doctor told her to take it easy for a couple of weeks but that the babies were fine.

The same night as the accident, we found out she was pregnant with twins, which explained why she had been so irrational lately. The family wasn’t surprised by the twin thing, considering Abigail and I are both twins.

Sean came up behind Andrea, Abigail, and me. Sean offered to take Stormy. Stormy reached for Sean willingly. None of us knew why, but Sean and Chelsea decided to call it quits, so Sean returned to California and asked to have his position back. I wasn’t happy about it, but Abigail persuaded me. I warned Sean that if he left a second time, there would be no third time.

Sean’s phone rang. He checked it and hit the mute button.

I glanced at him curiously.

Sean didn’t look as if he wanted to explain.

“Grandma and Grandpa are here!” Stormy yelled and pointed to my parents. She squirmed around in Sean’s arms until he put her on her feet. Stormy took off running. Abigail and Andrea followed after Stormy to greet my parents.

Sean and I walked in the same direction but not in any hurry. I glanced at Sean again. “So, Chelsea texted Abigail the other day and asked how you were.”

Sean grimaced. “It’s too damn late for that.”

“What happened, man?”

Sean sighed. “I came home early from work, and she was on the couch kissing some other guy. I went to my mom’s place for a few days and then decided to talk to Chelsea. I told her that I couldn’t deal with it and that I didn’t trust her. She wanted to work it out, but she didn’t push the subject. She said she felt horrible and would take it back, but. . .” he trailed off and shook his head. “Fuck all that.”

“Damn.” My gaze flickered to Abigail. “I think if I came home to that, I would kill the guy.”

Sean chuckled. “Yeah, well, you and Abigail are stronger than most couples. Abigail’s not the disloyal type anyway. Then again, I thought the same about Chelsea.”

“We went through a lot of shit,” I said and shrugged.

We made it over to my parents and greeted them. Sean asked Andrea if she wanted to go do bumper cars, and she agreed. The two of them had been hanging out quite a bit, which made me think something was going on between them, but I had no way of knowing for sure.

Dad gestured to Andrea and Sean’s retreating figures. “What’s with that?”

“I’m not sure,” I said.

“Awe,” Mom cooed.

Abigail shrugged. “I haven’t seen them doing anything.”

“Not yet,” Dad said. “Give it a few more weeks.”

I laughed and nodded in agreement. I nudged Abigail. “Let’s go get on the Ferris Wheel.”

Mom and Dad agreed to watch Stormy for us. We made our way toward the Ferris Wheel, and there wasn’t much of a line for any of the rides. It wasn’t very packed, probably because it was a Thursday.

The Ferris Wheel stopped to let off passengers, and the line was so small we were able to get on almost instantly. The carnie strapped us in, and the Ferris Wheel went forward so that the following people could get on.

Abigail and I were quiet as we stared out at the lights of the rest of the fair. The stars shined bright in the sky, and the moon was full. Abigail leaned into me and shivered.

“Are you getting cold?” I asked.

“I should have brought a sweater, but I’ll be okay.” Her eyes flickered to mine, and she smiled. “We’re getting married next week.”

“Are you nervous?”

“No, are you?”

“No.”

She smiled and pressed her lips to mine. “I hope the dress still fits.”

“Didn’t you have a fitting a week ago?”

“Yes, but I’m pregnant. Things change quickly. They had to alter it a little.”

“Get it checked once more.” I wrapped an arm tighter around her and rubbed her arm in an attempt to warm her.

The Ferris wheel started to let people off, and new people got on. Within minutes Abigail and I were making our way off, but a gunshot went off that stopped us in our tracks.

“Fuck,” I hiss and pushed Abigail near the railing of the Ferris Wheel. “Are you okay?” I asked. My gaze swept over her.

“I’m okay.” She clung to me in shock.

“Go, bebé. Go find the others,” I insisted and shoved her toward the stairs.

People were running and screaming from the first gunshot, and the carnies were letting people off the Ferris Wheel. I, on the other hand, was tired of running. I looked around the fair through the crowds, and my eyes stopped on a man with a rifle about fifty yards away on top of one of the carnival tents. He had on a black mask and all black clothes. He jumped off the back of the tent and disappeared.

People shoved past me so hard that it pushed me back as I tried to push forward. I thought the man was trying to get away because I saw him, but I was wrong. He scrambled through the crowd unperturbed. People that got in his way were either shot or hit over the face with the butt of his rifle.

I gritted my teeth but stood my ground. The landing of the Ferris Wheel was now empty, and most of the carnies and people had disappeared. “Come get me, asshole,” I spat.

He jumped onto the landing of the Ferris Wheel and lifted the gun to me.

“Coward,” I spat. “Do you hear me? You’re nothing but a fucking coward. If you’re going to shoot me, at least take off that mask so I can see your ugly face. Even better, put that fucking rifle down and show me what you got.”

A deep familiar chuckle filled the air between the guy and me. I stumbled back in shock, no longer needing to see the face because, by the laugh, I knew who it was instantly. However, the mask disappeared.

“Ademar?” I breathed. “Man, what the fuck are you doing?”

Ademar smirked. “I’m going to kill you, Andrew. The great, strong, powerful Andrew Garcia. Not so big and bad anymore, are you? I could have killed you anytime over this past month, but I wanted to torment you, so you knew I was coming.”

“You don’t want to do this. Just stop, Ademar. We can pretend like this never even happened, okay? The entire family would loathe you, maybe even disown you if you killed me for no good reason,” I said persuasively. “That’s assuming you can kill me.”

“I have my reasons, and if they were smart, they would understand. That chair was mine, and you manipulated my father into thinking he should give it to you,” Andrew spat as he stepped toward me.

I took a step back as I tried to think of ways out of the situation. “Manipulated? No. You had your chance. I gave you the opportunity to open your damn mouth. You said that I should have it.”

“I lied!” he shouted. “It didn’t matter what I said, and I knew that. My father was going to give you that chair no matter what. If Andrea had it, I would have been okay, but not you. Anyone but you. You’re self-righteous, arrogant, and you weren’t raised to lead. You’re not one of us, but they’re all too ignorant to see that. You’re not a real King. You don’t care about any of us. You and that whore only want money.”

“That’s a crock of shit,” I said through clenched teeth.

Ademar’s eyes erupted in anger, and he charged forward and let out a scream of agitation. The butt of his gun raised in the air, and he brought it toward my face. I ducked smoothly out of the way. The gun hit the metal frame of the Ferris Wheel, which made a loud bang. Ademar kept hold of the gun and started to move it so he could aim it at me. I spun around and started to climb up the side of the Ferris Wheel.

“Get back here!” he shouted. He reached up and grabbed my ankle.

My hands became sweaty, but I readjusted and kicked him in the face. I gained my grip back and pulled myself up. I stopped to look down. Ademar threw the gun to the side and groaned in frustration as he began to climb up the Ferris Wheel with a bloody nose.

I thought maybe if I could get to the top and yell, the family would see what happened. This way, they wouldn’t think or accuse me of trying to kill Ademar in cold blood. My body shook. I paused for a moment to wipe the sweat off my hands. I gripped a metal bar above my head and pulled myself up.

At the top of the big wheel, I saw that the fairgrounds were nearly empty, except for my family, which were headed this way. I was about to scream for them, but a hand grabbed my boot. I attempted to shake him off, but he moved closer.

This wasn’t a good place to fight. One of us was about to die. Ademar climbed up further and punched me in the ribs.

A groan escaped me, and I clutched my side. I stood up on the top bar and backed slowly away. Ademar stood up on the bar in front of me. I swallowed hard and gazed down. The family neared the base of the Ferris Wheel.

“You’re right. This is way more interesting than killing you with a gun. Your girl and that kid will get to see your brains splatter across the ground.”

“Andrew!” Mom screamed.

“Ademar!” Angel shouted.

Ademar looked down at his dad.

“Ademar, what are you doing?” Mia begged.

Ademar looked between his parents. “This is your fault. How could you believe that he was better than me?” Ademar raised his voice loud enough for his parents to hear.

“Come down, Ademar. We can figure this out. This isn’t how we handle things,” Angel said.

“It’s how I handle things,” Ademar said. Ademar turned back to me, and I braced myself. “Once and for all, we will know who that chair truly belongs to.”

“Don’t do this, man.” I hated the thought of killing my brother’s son, and I hated the thought of dying when I promised Abigail that nothing would happen to me.

Ademar charged at me and swung his fist. I dodged it and nearly lost my balance. I stepped back, refusing to hit Ademar. The family screamed below to stop.

“What’s wrong, Andrew? Not so tough now, huh? Lose your nerve? I promise the girls will be next. At least, they’ll join you in death and won’t have to live without you.” Ademar’s voice sent a shiver down my spine. It didn’t even sound like him. He was a different person. His eyes locked with mine, and the insanity that twisted in his eyes couldn’t be mistaken. “Say hello to your mother for me.”

My gaze fell to Stormy and Abigail. They were watching in horror. I didn’t make it this far for nothing. My eyes came back to Ademar as he stepped closer. “Tell her yourself, asshole,” I sneered. Anger pumped through my veins. My fist clenched up and collided with Ademar’s chest. Ademar lost his balance and began to fall. Immediately, I regretted hitting him. Instinctively, I lurched forward and caught him. I barely caught myself. Angel would never look at me again if I killed Ademar, and I didn’t want that, but I hated Ademar, knowing he nearly killed Abigail and me.

Ademar’s eyes were wide with shock as he looked down at the ground. His eyes came back to mine.

“Pull yourself up,” I insisted. “It doesn’t have to end like this. You need help. We can get you help.”

“You’re a disgrace to this family,” Ademar murmured. His eyes held more evil than I had seen in any pair of eyes, and I had met some horrible people. “I won’t live with the humiliation that it is you that saved me. I’ll see you in hell.”

Ademar punched my arm, and pain shot through the arm which held his hand. My hand opened as a reaction, letting go of Ademar. I reached to try to grab him, but it was too late. In a state of shock, I stared as my nephew, Ademar Garcia, fell to his death. Screams came from the ground below, but I tuned it out and bowed my head in shame.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Ademar felt such callousness toward me. He hid it well. I thought he and I had a decent relationship, apart from the one night at the warehouse. As I made my way down the Ferris Wheel, different emotions swamped me, such as betrayal, anger, pity, shame, and sadness.

My family came to me and embraced me, including Mia and Angel, which stunned me. I explained what he did and said but in a distant matter due to the state of shock I was in. Never had my family seen a betrayal quite like this, and they all said it.

The cops showed up, and we explained without too much detail what had occurred. Angel and Mia were upset and ashamed that Ademar did such a thing but thankfully not angry with me.

I pulled into the huge garage of the mansion and turned the car off. Abigail held a sleeping Stormy in her arms.

Abigail looked up at me. “Are you coming, baby?”

“Yeah,” I said and nodded. “Just give me a minute.”

Abigail leaned over and pecked my cheek before she disappeared into the house.

I wasn’t sure how long I stared out the windshield, not looking at what was in front of me but reimagining Ademar’s body hitting the ground and replaying the words he said in my head. I considered things that I could have done and said differently to prevent it.

After a long time, I shook it off because I knew I did nothing wrong and had no reason to feel guilty. I was lucky and happy to be alive. Excited to marry Abigail in a week and meet my twins in about five months. That’s what Latin King’s did, right? They got back up and walked off all the bad things.

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