“I don’t care. He murdered two people.”
“Let me know how explaining that to him will work out for you.”
“Where are the guys?’ Willow asked.
“I don’t know. They are awfully quiet.”
Too quiet. I peeked back out the window but didn’t see them.
“Maybe I can get Dash to talk to him. If Keiran knows you turned him in, then Dash knows, too.”
“Do you know why he was released?” Willow looked back and forth between the two of us.
“No clue,” Sheldon answered before looking to me for answers.
“Detective Daniels and Detective Wilson said it came from over their heads.”
“Well, my dad didn’t get involved this time and neither did John. In fact, John reacted very little to Keiran being arrested. He’s barely been to the hospital to see his son.” Sheldon’s voice choked over her tears on the last part. I could tell Keenan’s condition bothered her, especially on the wake of their breakup.
“Did they ever take a paternity test?”
“No. John said he didn’t want to.”
The day I turned Keiran in, and Sheldon called to tell me Keenan’s only lung was failing, I’d thought a paternity test had been given. I later found that much hadn’t been done to determine paternity at all. Keenan was able to sustain a patch to his lung to buy him more time, but he wasn’t out of the woods. I made a mental note to visit him when the coast was clear. Being shot and finding out your father wasn’t your father and your cousin was your brother, and then losing his girlfriend, who he loves, had to be taking a toll on him.
“Did anyone else get the impression Keiran wasn’t too surprised that they are brothers?” Willow asked.
Sheldon cocked her head to the side before nodding slowly. “Yeah, I got that, too. Do you think—”
The sound of the front door opening drowned out whatever Sheldon had been about to ask. I could hear heavy footsteps heading toward the kitchen, but the blood rushing to my head made it impossible to hear clearly.
Was it one or two sets of footsteps?
We all stopped and waited for them to appear through the door, and when it finally opened, I felt my knees weaken.
No, don’t do this. You aren’t that girl anymore, Lake.
I willed my legs to straighten and plastered what I hoped was a brave look on my face.
Dash appeared through the door first as he took a quick glance around, and I could tell he was fighting not to laugh.
I kept my eyes glued to the door waiting for him to walk through next, but he never came.
“Damn, you chicks are all drama. Relax, princess,” he snapped, drawing my attention. “The big, bad wolf isn’t here to eat you up.” Dash rolled his eyes and snagged a bottle of water from the refrigerator and left, but not before sending Willow a nasty look that made her retreat a step.
I looked back out the window once Dash was gone and saw Keiran’s car gone. I blinked a few times and questioned if I imagined it. What game is he playing?
Ten Years Ago
I was blindfolded and told to keep quiet before I was driven away from the compound. When we arrived, they finally removed the smelly rag from my face, and as my eyes adjusted, they slowly took in the scary building ahead.
The big empty room they led me to was dark and had puddles of water everywhere. The smell of the building was horrendous. It was something I’d never smelt before. There was only one door leading in and out and no windows.
The screams of the man tied to the chair, drenched in the water the men were pouring on him, were terrifying. Some of the men they called ‘trainers’ were standing around with mixed expressions of awe, amusement, and anger.
I just wanted to run and hide.
After Frank had told me I would start training today, I didn’t know what to expect. I was confused and scared, but I knew better than to show it. They would beat me again if I did.
“Come on, you. Today you become a man.”
“Wha—what do I have to do?”
Frank pulled out a cigarette and lit it with a match. The smoke he blew in my face made me choke, and I almost didn’t notice when he handed me the match.
I eyed the burning sliver of wood he had stuck in my hand before he shoved me toward the hurt man. The sudden movement caused the flame to flicker, and my eyes widened out of fear that I would lose the flame. When it continued to burn, I relaxed a little and looked up at Frank.
“I want you to throw it on that piece of shit.”
They wanted me to throw it on him, but why? What would happen if I did? What would happen if I didn’t do it?
“I don’t want to do it. Please don’t make me.” Tears blurred my vision as I began to do the one thing that would mean pain.
“Do you want to be next, you little shit?” Frank spit at the ground next to me and pushed me down, causing the flame to burn out. “Stop your fucking whining and crying before I kill you right here.” He kicked my side so hard I flipped over on my stomach. I got a heavy boot on my back for the trouble. “I asked you a question! Do you want me to kill you?”
“Then get on with it. I told you it’s time to earn your keep.” I heard the sound of another match being lit, and then I was snatched off the ground by the rags covering my upper body and placed on my feet.
“What’s going to happen to him? Will he be hurt?”
“He’s going to die. Now kill him.”