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       Obligation, p.19

         Part #2 of Underground Kings series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
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  “Where do you want me?” Pika asks.

  “I need you in the car,” I tell him, and he nods.

  We drive the rest of the way in silence. Every scenario is playing out in my head. It’s not going to be easy to get him out alone, but I know men like him, and if I can make the offer sweet enough, he won’t be able to resist.

  When we pull up outside of the hotel, Pika comes around and hops behind the wheel as Aye and I make our way inside.

  “Message me when you spot him,” I tell Aye as I head in the direction of the bar.

  It takes me less than ten minutes to find two women who are more than happy to take me up on my offer. I tell them that one of my frat buddies is in town and we’re going to play a little joke on him. At first, they are slightly unsure, but after I pull out a wad of cash, they’re more than willing to play along.

  It takes another ten minutes to get a message from Aye about where Thad is, and just like I guessed, he’s sitting at one of the blackjack tables. I send the two girls over to him, and they do just what I asked, both of them flirting and whispering in his ear. Even from across the room, I can see that he’s eating that shit up.

  Eventually, they convince him to go outside with them, and I know the exact moment it happens, ‘cause he pulls one of the girls into his lap and grabs the other by the back of her head, kissing her then forcing her mouth to her friend’s. They all stumble their way out of the casino as Aye and I follow behind them and make sure they stay on course.

  Once we’re outside, the girls do just as I said and get him into the back of the SUV, closing the doors. After a few seconds, I make my way over and open the back door, getting inside.

  “What the fuck?” Thad shouts as both girls scramble out the other door.

  Aye climbs inside to sit on the other side of Thad, who’s in the process of pulling up his pants.

  “Where to?” Pika asks as he pulls away from the curb.

  “Dino’s,” I tell him, and he nods as we pull out onto the main road.

  “I asked you what the fuck?” Thad shouts.

  Aye puts his arm around his shoulders and pulls him back into him.

  “Take off your shirt,” I tell him.

  He looks at me like I’m crazy as the weight of the situation finally begins settling in.

  “I said…take off your shirt!” I roar.

  He holds his hands up in front of him, unbuttons his shirt, and slips it off, handing it to me. I set the shirt in my lap and begin taking my cufflinks off. Then I roll up the sleeves of my own.

  “I don’t have a wire,” he tells me.

  I laugh in his face. Then I pull my knife out, stabbing him in the gut twice before pressing his shirt to his stomach to staunch the blood flow.

  “You just stabbed me,” he whispers.

  I lift his face so that he’s looking at me and not at the blood that’s now turning his shirt red.

  “I’m going to kill you tonight. I’m going to hurt you until you eventually pass out from blood loss, but then I’m going to wake you up and feed you your own fucking cock until you choke on it before taking your dead, lifeless body into the desert, where the fucking wild animals will fight over what’s left of you!” I roar as my hand on his jaw tightens to the point that both pain and understanding fill his eyes.

  “She told you,” he says.

  I lean forward until our noses are touching. “Yeah, she told me,” I say, and I then lean back enough to elbow him in the face.

  His body slumps forward, and I wipe my hands off before turning away from him to look out the window. I was raised to do this. Every cell in my body knows exactly what needs to be done, all of them preparing for what’s to come, and when it’s over, I know I’ll go home to my wife and tell her that she never has to be afraid again because I slaughtered her demon.

  I roll my window down as soon as we pull up outside Dino’s. His front door opens and he steps out onto the porch. Dino is about three hundred pounds, six seven, with a bald head. As soon as he realizes who it is, he swings his shotgun up to rest on his shoulder.

  “Haven’t seen you in a while,” he says, looking at the occupants of the car.

  “It’s been a while,” I confirm.

  Dino has a house in the desert on two hundred acres. About fifteen years ago, he had bomb shelters built into the ground around his property. These shelters are soundproof and safely enclosed, the perfect place to kill someone and take your time doing it.

  “I need a room tonight,” I say, getting out of the SUV and walking over to the porch.

  “Sure thing.” He greets me with a handshake and waves for Pika to follow him. “I’ll lead you guy out,” he mutters, getting onto a four-wheeler while I walk back over to the SUV and climb into the front seat.

  “This place is fucking creepy,” Aye mutters as we drive through the desert.

  Every once in a while, we drive past a part of the sand that has a red light sticking up out of the ground, the light signifying that the room is occupied. There is only one reason to come here.

  After driving for about thirty minutes, we come to a stop, and Dino gets off his four-wheeler, and I meet him at the door of the shelter.

  “You know the rules. You’re locked in until you call. There are clothes and supplies inside, and make sure you leave your keys in the car so I can have someone come out and pick it up.”

  “Got it,” I mutter.

  He opens the door and the smell of cleaning supplies hits my nose. I inhale one last breath of clean air before walking into the room behind Pika and Aye, who are carrying Thad.

  “Call when you’re done,” Dino says, shutting the door and locking it behind us.

  For the next six hours, I tortured him until he couldn’t even hold his head up on his own. Then I cut off his dick and shoved it down his throat like I’d told him I would.

  Call me evil, but when I walked away from his lifeless body, I felt cleaner.

  There was one last piece of shit in the world preying on the innocent.

  When we arrived home, I went to our room and got into the shower before getting into bed with Myla. The moment I lay down, her body curved against mine and she looked up at me with tears in her eyes.

  “It’s done,” I tell her.

  Her beautiful eyes close open, and she leans forward, pressing a kiss to my chest. I gather her closer to me, and with her wrapped in my arms and my hand on her belly, I feel my son move for the first time.

  “He moved,” I whisper in awe, waiting to see if I can feel him again.

  “He’s been doing it all night. It’s almost like he’s trying to tell me that it will all be okay,” she whispers.

  I exhale a long breath. “You have nothing to fear now, makamae,” I tell her.

  She nods her head against my chest, and I wait, listening as her breathing evens out before following her off to sleep.

  Chapter 16


  We’ve been home from Vegas for three weeks, and I know it may make me a horrible person, but knowing that Thad is dead and can never hurt me or anyone else again makes me feel lighter. I still felt bad for my parents when they called to tell me that he had gone missing. I know they were heartbroken over the loss of their son. I wanted to tell them the kind of monster he was, to make them understand they shouldn’t morn his loss, but I know that, in the end, it didn’t matter. He had paid with his life for his crimes. I even got up enough courage to speak to my brother Royce, and even though the conversation was awkward, it felt good to talk to him.

  My relationship with Kai has also changed since coming back to Hawaii. The wall that had been keeping us separated finally crumbled. He now knew everything there was to know about me, and I now know he will be there to help me battle any demons I may have.

  I silently lie here, looking out at the ocean, willing myself to sleep, but I can’t get over the feeling that something is going to happen. I know that something is brewing. I don’t know what it is, but the energy ove
r the last few days has changed, and Kai is more anxious than before. But every time I bring it up, he explains that, when the time is right, he will share it with me.

  “I need to go out for a couple of hours, love,” Kai says, coming into the room, where I have been lying down, trying to take a nap.

  I turn my head on the pillow and take him in, noticing that he looks worried. “Do you want me to come with you?” I ask him.

  He shakes his head, leans over me, and presses a kiss to my lips. When he pulls back, his fingers run down my cheek.

  “I won’t be gone long,” he says, but the anxiety I see in his eyes has the worry in my chest expanding.

  “Is everything okay?”

  “Everything’s fine. You just rest.”

  I study his face and take notice of the way his jaw seems to be harder. “I love you,” I tell him as I lift my hand to run my fingers down his jaw.

  His eyes go soft and his face changes slightly. “I love you too. I’ll be back,” he tells me, and this time, I hear the conviction in his voice when the words leave his mouth.

  “We’ll be here waiting for you,” I tell him instead of doing what I really want to do, which is attach myself to him, making it hard for him to leave without taking me with him.

  His lips press against mine as his hand moves to my belly one last time before he leaves the room. It takes all of my strength to stay on the bed and not follow him out of the house.

  Soon after he leaves, I get up and phone his mom to see if she knows anything about what’s going on. She tells me that Kai didn’t tell her anything and she is sure it is just the hormones that are making me feel like something is off. When I get off the phone with her, I go into the kitchen and start baking to help keep my mind busy until he comes home.

  I look at the clock and then over at Pika, who has been hanging out with me since I got out of bed earlier. When I notice that he’s looking at the clock as well, I give up and go get the phone. I have never called Kai when he has told me that he’ll be working, but right now, I need to make sure he’s okay so the feeling in my stomach will hopefully go away.

  I wrap one arm around my waist and then use the other to dial his number before putting the phone to my ear. My eyes stay locked on Pika’s, and I can see that he’s waiting to get some relief as well.


  My heart soars then crashes to the ground when I realize it’s only the message for his voicemail. “Hey, I…I just wanted to make sure you are okay.” I pause and let out a shaky breath as my head drops forward and tears fill my eyes. “Please come home,” I whisper and then hang up. “He didn’t answer,” I tell Pika, placing the phone on the counter.

  “I’m sure he’s okay.”

  “Me too,” I agree halfheartedly.

  “He’s probably somewhere where he can’t answer,” he says, trying to convince both himself and me, but even as I nod, that pit in the bottom of my stomach gets bigger.

  I pick the house phone up when it rings once, hoping that it’s Kai telling me that he’s okay and he’s on his way home.


  “Honey, Meka’s on her way to you now, and Bane and I are on our way,” Leia says.

  “What happened?” I ask as tears begin to fill my eyes. I know that whatever she is going to say is going to rip me apart.

  “I don’t know. No one knows exactly what happened. After you called me, I became concerned, so I asked Bane to look into what Kai was doing,” she whispers. “He found out that Kai was meeting someone and they were taking the person’s yacht out. Bane made Kai promise he would call in an hour, and when we didn’t hear back from him, Bane called the coastguard. They told him that a Mayday was sent out, and when the coastguard arrived at the location, only pieces of boat were left. They think there was some kind of explosion.”

  “No.” I close my eyes and my stomach dips as I try to avoid getting sick.

  “They’ve been searching, but as of yet, they haven’t found any survivors,” she cries, and I collapse onto the couch behind me. “We’re going to go over to the station and see if we can get any more information,” she says, but her words begin to sound garbled, like I’m underwater.

  I feel the phone slip out of my palm and hear Aye ask for Bane, but after that, everything becomes a blur until I hear my name yelled.


  I stand from where I was sitting on the couch as Meka comes rushing into the living room.

  “Oh, God,” she whimpers, rushing towards me with tears streaming down her cheeks.

  “No,” I breathe even though I just spoke to Kai’s mom. I don’t want to believe that it’s true, but there is no denying the look in Meka’s eyes as she looks at me.

  “I’m sorry.” She cries harder, and my chest compresses under the weight of devastation I feel.

  My knees give out and I fall to the floor as a sob rips from my chest. I feel her wrap her slender arms around me, and her tears seep through the shirt I have on. I don’t know how long we stay there in the middle of the living room crying, but after some time, I feel Pika and Aye pull us away from each other.

  Aye helps me get settled on the couch just as Kai’s mom and dad walk in, and a fresh wave of tears springs to my eyes.

  “Honey,” Leia says, coming to sit next to me.

  Her hands go around me, and I know she is not here to tell me good news. It takes everything in me to focus on breathing, to remind myself that I have to breathe for our son. I cannot even begin to think of how I will make it without Kai. I don’t know how I will live when I have to say goodbye to my soul.

  “We didn’t even pick a name,” I whisper staring off into the ocean, which is turning orange as the sun begins to set.

  “What, honey?” Kai’s mom asks, using her hand on my cheek to turn my face towards her.

  “We didn’t even get a chance to pick a name.” I shake my head. “Kai said he wanted to wait until after he was born so he was sure to get a name that fit him, and now, he won’t be here to give him his name.”

  “Oh, Myla,” she whispers. “Don’t think about that right now. Right now, just pray that they find him.” She chokes out the last part, and I can see it in her eyes that she doesn’t even believe they will.

  “I’m going to be sick.” I get up, rush out of the room, and go to the toilet, the contents of my lunch coming up. I wait until the nausea passes before standing and going to the sink to splash some water on my face. The refection looking back at me when I look in the mirror is not one I have ever seen before, not even during the worst years of my life. No, the girl looking back at me looks lifeless.

  “Can I come in?” comes from the other side of the door, along with a quiet tap.

  “I’m coming,” I say in a hoarse whisper. My throat feels like it’s on fire from crying, and the passageway feels too tight to even take a complete breath.

  As soon as I open the door, I come face-to-face with Aye, who looks me over from head to toe before pulling me into an embrace.

  “He’s a fighter,” he tells me.

  I nod, because that’s true. I don’t know what happened on that boat, but if there was a way for Kai to get out alive, he would, even if that meant swimming to shore.

  Aye leads me back out to the living room and places me in a chair. He leaves and then comes back a few minutes later with a cup of tea and some saltine crackers before walking off to stand with Pika. I look at my two guys and close my eyes when I see not only them looking at me with concern, but also the pain I feel reflected in their eyes at the thought that they have lost their friend.

  We all sit around the living room until the coastguard calls to say that they are calling off the search for the night due to a storm that was slowly making its way ashore. I lose it again. The idea of my beautiful husband in the middle of the ocean, with the only help available to him unable to reach him, causes me to lose the small thread of hope I was holding on to.

  “Honey, why don’t you go and try to get some s

  I look from the ocean to Kai’s mom and shake my head.

  “You need to rest,” she says gently as her eyes glance to my belly.

  “Okay, but come get me if you hear anything please,” I tell her.

  She nods, murmuring that she promises.

  As soon as I get to our room and open the door, I’m bombarded by his smell, and it takes everything in me not to turn around and run. I close the door behind me then go to the dresser and pull out one of his shirts, holding it to my nose and noticing that, even though his scent is lingering in the material, it doesn’t smell completely like him.

  I drop the shirt to the floor, walk over to his closet, and find his shirt from yesterday, one he put aside to have dry-cleaned. I put it to my nose and inhale a lungful of his scent, holding my breath until I feel lightheaded. I only let it out when I have my clothes off and I’m slipping his shirt on. I walk over to our bed, pull back the covers, pull the phone off the nightstand, and then climb into bed, bringing the covers up and over my head as I dial his phone number. His name is the only thing he says, but the sound of his voice, repeating it over and over, eventually lulls me to sleep.

  “Makamae,” I hear whispered as I feel a finger run down my cheek.

  I cuddle closer to the scent and warmth, not wanting to wake up if this is a dream.

  “Wake up.” This time, the voice is close to my ear, which causes goose bumps to break out along my skin.

  “Kai?” I whisper, not wanting to open my eyes.


  I feel fingers run up my thigh and a large hand curve around my ass. My eyes fly open, and a hand covers my mouth as I start to scream.

  “Shh. It’s okay. I’m here, but I need you to be quiet.”

  I nod, and he moves his hand away from my mouth. I look at him with just the help of the moonlight.

  “Am I dreaming?” I whisper.

  He shakes his head, and then I see that he has a few scratches on his face.

  “Oh my God, you’re hurt.” I go to sit up and turn on the light, but he pins me to the bed.

  “I’m fine. Just a few scratches.”

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