Celia Bistis takes us on a journey with an unexpected twist...
I wondered what my life would have been like if my father wasn’t the boss of a world-leading mafia. Despite his occupation, I was devoted to loving him, unlike my younger sister, Lydia. She was frightened by the little things of the world, and was distant from him, since she blamed him for her social instability. Considering the fact that our father constantly had us relocated from place to place, due to his caution with our safety, she wasn’t to blame either. The worst thing of all was the fact that Lydia and I were almost always sent to different districts, to lessen the chances of being tracked down. We had yet to stay at a location for more than one year, and it truly got tedious. It was always the same monotonous, consecutive cycle; new friends, new building to explore and get lost in, new classes and new teachers to become familiar with. I’d grown to despise traveling. However, I didn’t dare to complain, because if there was one thing my dad hated more than flaws in his system, it was complaining.
My mind was racing with aimless thoughts, as I drove through the inhabited, dry streets of Mexico City. My long, blond hair was tied up into a messy bun due to the revolting heat, and my big, green orbs were taking in my surroundings, hoping I wasn’t driving towards the wrong destination. When my father’s new purchase came into view, I noticed just how imposing the abode was. Dad had a thing for hot, tropical places. He always bought luxurious mansions in places he went and loved.
As I shut the door to my car, I immediately knew the exact number of rifles aimed at me and the barrel of pistols awaiting for me: 66. The men in the front visibly relaxed their tense shoulders, once they realized who it was. I chuckled and made my way towards them, only to have them lead me to where my father was. The hot Mexican breeze became distant as I entered the air conditioned house.
The furniture consisted of a dark, almost black wood, and the walls were flawlessly coated in a deep crimson color. I wasn’t fascinated by the beautiful décor, or the glistening marbled floors, being quite familiar with his demands by now. He was a man for perfected things, and didn’t do mistakes. I sighed deeply to myself, being well aware that the reason I was here was not because he wanted to say hi and see how I was doing, but because he wanted me to go somewhere. Father was drinking tea by the windows, which I was guessing were bulletproof. His greying hair was slicked back, his vibrant green eyes on a tall, intimidating, and rather handsome, male, he was conversing with. The unknown man was dressed in a pair of tight fitting black jeans, and a black tee shirt, which defined his fit shape as well as revealed the black ink which was delicately scattered around his exposed skin. His facial features were majestic, yet emotionless and hard.
Shortly later Marco, one of the men who’d led me here, let him know of my presence, he informed me of the plan. I was to be driven to Texas, by the stranger who looked like death in a form of a handsome male, because if I was to take a flight to anywhere, whoever dad was in debt to, would be able to track me down much faster. Needless to say, I was angry.
“I don’t care what you think, Cora! You are seventeen, and you are under my care. Tonight you will begin driving North of Mexico, and up to Texas. At the border, there are my men waiting for you both. You will be crossing the border in two days’ time. When you arrive I want a call from you. If everything goes as planned, I will be joining you in a matter of two weeks.” he instructed harshly when I made it clear to him that I was not in favor of this plan one bit.
The same night, we were on the road. The graceful male my dad had assigned to babysit me, named Dylan, had yet to speak a word to me. I had seriously started to question if he was mute, but no it couldn’t have been, I would had been informed if that was the case. No words could describe the past seven hours better than continuous silence. It was just simply quiet, empty, somehow hollow, somehow saddening. My mind had been preoccupied with hundreds of unanswered questions making for a subtle and unpleasant headache. Why was my father in such a hurry to get me out of Mexico as soon as possible? Why did we have to leave in the middle of the night? Where was Lydia relocated? I was continuously sighing, hoping to get a reaction out of him, but there was nothing in return. I’d tried making short conversation with him, but all I got for an answer was silence.
“I think we need to stop for food.” I’d decided to speak up once again, grateful when I noticed the curt nod he gave me.
Shortly after our first interaction, whatsoever, the car came to a halt, and we pulled into a gas station.
“Get some food, while I fill up the tank. No more than five minutes, Cora.” Dylan firmly stated, making my mouth open ajar. Those were the first words he’d ever addressed to me. I only nodded and scurried into the dimly lit convenience store.
No more than two minutes later, I was deviously eyeing the medley of chips stacked on the shelves, when I was rudely interrupted by a startling sound, which I recognized all too well; a gunshot. My eyes widened when I realized I was in here without Dylan’s protection like he’d promised my father. Acting on impulse I crouched down, right by the chips which didn’t sound so appetizing anymore, clutching my stomach in anticipation. There was a sudden silence, until another gun fire was heard. Wrappers and food were penetrated, but yet no skin. A blood curling scream pierced through my chest as it ripped through my throat muscle, when a pair of hands abruptly gripped my waist and pulled me into them. My head made contact with a solid chest, and I softly cried in pain.
“Be quiet, don’t get distracted by fear.” Dylan instructed and calmly breathed out into my hair, “those men are from the Black Pool Confederacy. They’re looking for you. They’ll kill me and everyone who gets in their way, so don’t question me and do as I say so.” he quickly barked over the bullets, his warm brown eyes studying my face closely.
Chattering was soon erupted in the small store, while the guns fell silent.
“Jaspar, Davis wants the girl alive, stop playing with this like it’s a water gun!” A man spoke up, scolding his companion. The moment that name registered in my mind, my stomach sank in realization. My uncle had once told my father ‘you can’t keep involving her in your life, she’ll suffer.’ Then it all led to a heated argument, and my father excluded him from the family. Later, we found out he was leading his own mafia.
“I don’t understand why we need the girl, and we don’t just go straight for Hale.” ‘Jaspar’s’ voice was dripping with boredom.
“She’s valuable, you flaming imbecile. As long as she’s a Hale, she’s got what we need.”
What were they going on about? The two of them, then, took notice of the old man in the cash register, who had thought this was some sort of an armed robbery.
“Cora, do you see that door?” Dylan whispered over the two idiots bickering with the startled cashier, pointing at the metal, backdoor of the store. When my eyebrows furrowed in confusion, he continued, “it’s unlocked, I can see it from here. If you’re quiet enough we can make it…”
I could easily say that I’d lost over twenty years of my life, and possibly developed a trauma from the shootout we efficiently snuck out of. We purposely arrived at the border a day before we were intended to. My body felt sticky, due to the situations we’d found ourselves into, and I was in desperate need for a shower. Two of my dad’s men, Liam and Hayden as they introduced themselves, were waiting for us, as promised by my dad. Our main, yet temporary destination was one of the mansions my father owned, obviously located outside Austin. It only took us three hours to get to the secluded estate.
The moment the four of us were securely surrounded by the six layered, bulletproof glass the whole house was made of, I headed straight for the shower without another word. The lukewarm water washed away any residue of sweat and dust, revealing some cuts on my legs and arms, as well as relaxing my aching muscles. Changing into a new pair of clean clothes, I silently patted my way down the marbled staircase. I wandered around for a bit until I found the kitchen, checking the cabinets for anything that could satisfy my growling stomach. Whilst on my scavenger hunt for something edible, I heard faint arguing from dad’s office. My interest was sparked in an instant, my previous intentions long forgotten, as I silently walked towards the room.
“Why would he purposely make you do that?!” Hayden hushed, making my features harden and twist in confusion.
“He said she wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t. Then he wanted to end it.” Dylan quietly uttered.
“Then why didn’t you do it when you were supposed to?!” Liam was the one to hiss next.
“Liam, you and I both know very well I’ve been in love with this girl since Hale recruited me, seven years ago. Listen, I’m telling you this so you could be on my side, but if you dare go against me, I’ll kill you myself.” Dylan spat. My head frantically started spinning, and the blood drained from my body. In love? I’d never seen this guy before two days ago. I was excessively overwhelmed; my empty stomach was churning over and over causing for a nauseating feeling, and the beating of my heart thumped in my ears. My mind was screaming for me to leave and stop eavesdropping, but my heart sought for more and wouldn’t allow me to.
“We’ve spent most of our lives figuring out Hale’s moves. We’ve spent years gaining his trust so we could overtake him, and now you chose her over the job you swore with your life you’d always remain loyal to?!” Hayden shouted, the tone of his voice absolutely agitated.
“You should have done what you were told, not risk everything in your being for her. It was an order, and you’re well aware what happens when you disobey Davis’ orders.”
“He’s going to kill you, Dylan.” Liam breathed.
“I know.” Dylan humorously let out a dry chuckle.
“And all this for what?!” Hayden rhetorically exclaimed.
“Because I couldn’t kill her.”
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