Obligation, p.18
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       Obligation, p.18
 

         Part #2 of Underground Kings series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
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  “A lot of thought has gone into this, Myla. This is not something that will just happen. This is something that has been planned for years. I will not say it’s easy to do, but every day, we’re one step closer.”

  He moves and helps me lie down next to him with my head in the crook of his arm and his hand resting on my belly. We lie there in silence, looking up at the night sky, then watch as the sun rises up over the ocean, and only then does he take me inside and climb into bed with me.

  *

  “We’re landing,” Kai tells me, kissing my hair.

  I lift my head, look around the plane, and feel lighter. After Kai told his mom and dad what was going on, they insisted they come with us to Vegas.

  We didn’t know how long we would be in Vegas, so having them with us puts my mind at ease. I also think Kai was relieved that his dad would be with his mom and me, someone he trusted completely, since, from what I understand, most of my time would be spent at the house while Kai takes care of business.

  It takes another ten minutes for the plane to land. As soon as we touch down, Kai is up and getting a bag down from the overhead compartment, which he sets on the seat he was sitting in, and opens it up, pulling out some leather and slipping it on like a vest. I notice that it has a holster for a gun under one arm and then a place for a knife under the other. Once he has the holster in place, he pulls a large knife out of the bag then a gun, and he clicks them both in place. He then reaches up, pulls his suit jacket down, and pulls it on, hiding away the weapons.

  “Do you always carry weapons like that?” I ask as the feeling of unease comes back.

  His eyes come to me and go soft as he squats down in front of me. “I don’t plan on anything happening, but I need to be cautious.”

  “Cautious is good.”

  He smiles and leans in to touch his forehead to mine. “You guys are my life, and I would die before something ever happens to either of you,” he says as his hand comes up to hold my cheek.

  “Don’t say that,” I whisper.

  He grunts and presses a kiss to my forehead then lips. “I want you to stick close to Pika when I’m not around.”

  “I will,” I say as everyone on the plane begins to stand and retrieve their things from the overhead bins.

  He nods and kisses me once more before standing and helping me get my things together so we can get off the plane.

  “Are you sure you don’t want me with you?” Uncle Frank asks Kai, and I turn my head away from them to keep from laughing.

  “Frank, I told you before that your son will be with me while I’m here.”

  “I think you should let me go with you. You never know what could go wrong.”

  “I know what could go wrong,” Aye mutters and then winks at me when I laugh.

  Uncle Frank is a good guy, but he is seriously a disaster waiting to happen.

  “Fine. I’ll help look out for Myla,” he grumbles, grabbing his bag and heading off the plane.

  “This is going to be a long trip,” Kai’s dad says, shaking his head, watching as Frank stomps down the plane stairs.

  “He means well,” Kai’s mom says.

  “He’s still not helping me out. He will end up doing something stupid, and then I will have to clean up his mess,” Kai replies.

  “He thinks you’re still mad about him teaching Myla to shoot a gun,” Leia tells him.

  “I am still mad about that, and he didn’t teach Myla anything except that she should never agree with anything Uncle Frank says.”

  “Perhaps you’re right,” she concurs.

  “I am right.”

  “He just wants to feel useful,” his mom mutters, and his dad rolls his eyes.

  “He’s not going with me, and I don’t care if he stomps around for the next few days. It’s not happing,” Kai says.

  His mom nods then turns and walks off the plane.

  “She’s right, you know. Uncle Frank is just trying to help,” I say quietly.

  “That may be, but right now, I have my hands full and can’t babysit him.”

  “I know,” I mutter, walking out of the plane and into the sun. As soon as my eyes adjust to the light, I notice two large SUVs.

  “We’re riding with Junior,” Kai tells me, leading me to one of the SUVs, where there’s a large guy who looks like Uncle Frank standing with his arms crossed over his chest. “Brother,” Kai says.

  The guy uncrosses his arms and greets him with a half hug before stepping back, and I notice that he’s one of the guys who was there when we got married.

  “You remember Myla,” Kai says, reintroducing me.

  The guy leans in to kiss my cheek, saying, “Myla,” quietly before pulling away.

  “How have you been?” I ask as Kai opens the door.

  “Been good.” He shrugs, and I realize how different this guy is from his dad.

  “That’s good,” I mumble when he doesn’t say anything else.

  Kai helps me into the car, and he and the Junior sit in the front seat talking quietly while I sit looking out the window in the back seat.

  When we arrive at the house, I’m stunned by how beautiful it is. Kai told me that he knew that it wasn’t our house in Hawaii but it was good enough for us to stay in while we were in Vegas. My husband is obviously crazy because the house isn’t just okay—it’s beautiful. The outside is white, and the texture reminds me of icing. Around the windows are red shutters that match the red beams that are sticking out of the roof. When we get inside, I am even more blown away the floors, which are all white marble that is cool on the bottom of my bare feet. Everywhere I look, there are windows that display the vast desert landscape.

  “It’s beautiful,” I whisper as Kai wraps his arms around me.

  “I’m glad you think so.” He kisses the back of my head then holds me like that until he tells me that it’s time to leave.

  Chapter 15

  Demon slayer

  I kiss Kai and get into the back of the SUV with Pika and Aye, watching as Kai walks towards a group of men. Even through the dark, I can see one of the men that he was walking towards is struggling to keep himself under control, and I know that is Kenton.

  “Will they be okay?” I ask, not taking my eyes off them.

  “You know they will.” Aye answers.

  I nod. He’s right. Kai wouldn’t be helping if he thought for one moment that something could go wrong.

  I put my finger to the glass as we pull away, and then I see him. My gut goes tight and bile crawls up my throat, making it hard to breathe. I knew he was in Vegas, but the idea of seeing him never crossed my mind, not even once. Like he realizes that I’m near, his head turns and his eyes lock on me through the tinted glass. His face goes hard for a moment, but then a sinister smile appears on his mouth and he winks, lifting his chin. I swallow, turning away from the window as my hands begin to shake.

  “You okay?” Pika asks.

  I nod and lower my face to my lap, taking deep, silent breaths. I don’t want them to call Kai and have him worried about me—not right now, not when he’s dealing with something that needs his full attention.

  “Myla, talk to me,” he says gently, moving to sit closer to me.

  I shake my head and scoot away from him. I do not want to be touched by anyone. I place my hands on my ever-expanding stomach and try to calm down. One thing I know is that freaking out would not be good for our son, and I would never do anything to endanger him.

  “Do you want me to call Kai?” he questions.

  My eyes lift to meet Pika’s, and I know that it would be so easy to call my husband and have him make me feel better, but I can’t.

  “No, I just…” I pause. “I just have a bad case of heartburn,” I lie.

  He searches my face then nods once, and without another word, we take off back to the house. As soon as we get home, I go directly to our room, not even saying anything to the guys before putting PJs on and crawling into bed. I wake up when the bed dips and the scent o
f Kai fills my nose.

  “Myla, I need you to wake up.”

  I roll over at the sound of pain in Kai’s voice. I go to sit up, but his hand at my waist keeps me in place.

  “Is everything okay?” I ask sleepily, pushing my hair out of my face.

  He shakes his head, and anguish appears on his handsome face.

  “What happened?”

  “I need you to talk to me, Myla. Pika told me that you saw Thad tonight and immediately closed down. I know that this is something you don’t want to talk about, but I need you to open up to me. I need you to make me understand why, even if his name is mentioned, fear floods your eyes and your body goes rigid. I’m honestly begging you to talk to me about it, to trust me with whatever it is. I do not want our child growing inside you to feel that energy, and I don’t want that for you,” he whispers quietly.

  Each and every one of his words causes pain to expand in my chest. The only person I have ever spoken to about what happened was my therapist in college. But I know I need to open up to Kai. He deserves to understand, and it’s not fair for me to keep even the darkest parts of my life from him.

  “Please,” he whispers sounding completely gutted.

  “Will you lie with me?”

  He nods and slips his clothes off before getting into bed with me. He wraps himself around me, and that feeling of safety gives me the courage I need. I swallow and squeeze my eyes closed. I hate that this is something I have to share with him. I don’t want what Thad did to me to taint what we have. I open my eyes and look up at him.

  “My life was amazing growing up. I know my real parents suffered, but they did give me to a family who loved me and wanted me.”

  His face goes soft, and his hand runs over my hair and down my back, pulling me closer.

  “Did you know that my mom couldn’t have more kids?” I ask.

  He shakes his head no, and I continue.

  “She and my dad had tried for more kids after having Rory and Thad, but it just never happened, so she gave up, just happy to have them. Then my dad came to her one day after talking with my father, and he told her about me and the situation with my parents.” I pause and let out a breath. “She said yes immediately. She was excited to have another child, and even more excited to be getting a daughter. My life was good. There was never a time that I felt like I wasn’t wanted or like they didn’t love me,” I stress, wanting him to know that this wasn’t my parents’ fault. None of this was their fault. They were victims as much as I was.

  “I get that, Myla.”

  I take a breath and let it out slowly, gathering the courage to say what I have to say next. “On my sixteenth birthday, my mom and dad took me and a group of my girlfriends out to dinner. Birthdays were always a big deal, but it was a school night, and I wouldn’t be having my party until the weekend, so they wanted to do something small until my party.” I lift my hand, tracing his lower lip. “I remember having so much fun that night. My friends and I were all boy-crazy at that point, and my dad was always a good sport, joking that he would invite whatever boy was near over to our table and introduce us to him. My dad was the best. Still is.”

  “He’s a good man,” he agrees, and I snuggle closer to him.

  “That was the night my life changed…or life as I knew it, rather. When we got home, I went upstairs to my room, did my homework, and then went about getting ready for bed. My brother Rory came in and told me about some game he was going to be in that Friday and made sure I knew what was happening for the weekend. We had all the same friends, so my birthday party was going to end up being more than just the girls I hung out with. I was excited to have my first boy/girl party, and Rory was just as excited because he had a crush on one of my friends at the time.

  “Not long after he left, my mom and dad came in and kissed me goodnight like they had always done. I was lying in bed thinking about how awesome my day had been when the door opened and a small beam of light shone in, only showing the outline of a figure. I wasn’t even afraid.” I feel tears fill my eyes and I rub my face against his chest.

  “Thad came in, closing the door behind him, causing pitch blackness to fall over the room. I wasn’t even worried that he didn’t answer when I called his name, and I didn’t even think to be nervous when he came and sat down on the bed next to me.” I whisper the last part.

  “Stop!” he thunders, making me jump.

  But I don’t quit. I can’t. I need him to understand.

  “He raped me for three years,” I whisper. “It wasn’t every night, but it was often.”

  “He’s dead. I’m going to fucking rip off his dick and feed it to him. I swear to Christ, he will not be alive long.”

  “He told me he would kill my parents if I told them, and I believed him. I hated it, but I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was alone.” I sit up and pull away until my back hits the headboard. “I stopped doing well in school. I stopped caring about life in general. All I wanted to do was get away. That’s why, when I got accepted into culinary school, I took it and ran.”

  “I wish I would have known then,” he growls.

  “No one knew. I was worried about him killing the only people I considered family, two kind people who had accepted me with open arms into their family. I hated it, every second of it,” I cry, covering my face with my hands.

  “Come here, makamae,” Kai says, pulling my hands away from my face and tugging me into his chest.

  Even though he’s comforting me, I can feel that every muscle in his body is taut, like he’s preparing for battle.

  “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I just couldn’t, no matter how many times I tried to convince myself to,” I whisper.

  “I know now,” he whispers back as his hand at the back of my head travels down over my hair and to my back so that he can pull me closer to him. After a few minutes, he pulls my face away from his chest and tilts my head back to look at me. “I’m going to go get Mom so that she can stay with you while I’m gone,” he says.

  My body instantly stills. “Where are you going?” I breathe out in a panic.

  “I’ll be back.” He evades my question as I attempt to cling tighter to him. “I have to go, makamae. I’ll be back. I promise.” He kisses my hair then pulls me off him as I struggle to keep ahold of him. He walks to the door, leaving me on the bed sobbing.

  A few minutes later, his mom comes in, crawls into bed with me, and holds me until I cry myself to sleep.

  Kai

  “Get up and get dressed.” I kick Aye’s bed then walk across the hall and do the same to Pika’s.

  It takes two minutes for them to come out of their rooms dressed and ready to go. I knew in my gut what was going on with Myla, but I didn’t want to believe that something so fucking horrific could have happened to my beautiful girl.

  “What’s going on?” Pika is the first to ask as he tucks his gun into the back of his jeans.

  “I need you two to help me track down Thad.”

  “What happened?” Aye asks, but when my eyes meet Pika’s, I see understanding.

  “We’ll talk in the car,” I mutter, heading towards the front of the house.

  I know where Thad was a few hours ago when I saw him, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to get him while I can. And since he has been hanging out with Paulie Jr., there’s a good chance he would hide him away if he found out I was looking for him.

  “Now do you want to tell me what’s happening?” Aye asks as soon as we’re in the car and heading towards downtown.

  “Fuck!” I roar, pounding the steering wheel as a fresh wave of rage begins to pump throughout my body. “What I’m going to tell you is never to fucking leave this car. Got me?” I say through clenched teeth.

  “You got it,” Aye says softly.

  I see Pika nod out of the corner of my eye.

  “I know that each of you has been around when Thad’s been brought up, and I know you have seen Myla’s reaction to even his fucking name,” I st
art, trying to take a calming breath as I feel my hands grab the steering wheel so hard that the rubber compresses under my touch. “He raped her.”

  I hear my voice crack, and I know I’m on the edge of losing it. Knowing that my wife—the woman I love, the mother of my child—suffered at the hands of someone like him causes my chest to crack open.

  “You cannot be fucking serious!” Aye yells, punching the back of my seat so hard that I jerk forward from the blow.

  “He’s dead,” Pika grits out.

  I stop the car in the middle of the road and turn so that I can look at both of them. “He’s mine. The only way you guys get a shot at him is if something goes wrong and I can’t finish him myself.”

  “We both care about her,” Aye says, but I shake my head.

  “He’s mine,” I reiterate, and they both nod reluctantly.

  I put the car in drive and head towards the warehouse we were at when I saw Thad earlier. The parking lot is empty except for a large, white van, and I know instantly that they are just here for cleanup. I pull my phone out and send a message to Kenton to tell him that I’m cashing in my marker. His man Justin will be able to get me whatever information I need almost instantly. It takes less than a minute for me to get a message back from Kenton, and less than three for Justin to send me everything I need to know about Thad.

  I send a reply message, letting him know that the offer I gave him a year ago still stands. I tried to have the kid come work for me, but he wouldn’t budge.

  His reply of, Sorry, Charlie, almost makes me laugh. I have to respect that, because loyalty is rare these days. I put the car in drive and head towards the Strip. Thad used his credit card there twenty minutes ago, and based on the amount he withdrew, he was sitting at a table.

  “He’s at Bellagio,” I say then look in the rearview mirror. “Aye, he doesn’t know you, so I need you to get close to him once we’re inside.”

  “What’s the plan?” he asks, cracking his knuckles.

  “I’m going to find a woman who will help me get him outside.”

 
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