Kelsey’s Point of View:
“Excuse me?” I stared up at, whom I was just told to be Tanner Evans, confused as to how he apparently knew who I was.
His eyebrows knitted together to meet as one, his eyes narrowed down at me. “Am I wrong?”
“Ugh, no—yes—I don’t—” I shook my head. “How the hell do you even know something like that?” I hissed, trying to keep my voice down and calm myself from freaking out. I wasn’t going to lie, I was a bit taken back to say the least.
A smirk fell against his lips. “You’re supposed to know the players in order to win the game, right?”
I gave him an incredulous look, my face contorting the utmost confusion I could muster at this point. “What game? What are you talking about?”
Licking his lips, he shrugged his shoulders, looking at something beyond my reach before casting his blue eyes back down to my brown ones. “You still never answered my question.”
“What question?” I nearly dropped my books to the ground from the amount of nerves that were running through me at once, setting off every warning sign, warning me to get away from him.
“The one I asked you when you bumped into me.”
I opened my mouth to retaliate, my head spinning with countless options on what he could have asked.
“Is your hair brown?” He causally asked out of the blue, his hands now held behind him as one as he peered down at me through his lashes.
I numbly nodded, too engaged with what was going on to speak.
“Do you have brown eyes?”
I swallowed. “Yes.”
“Do you go to Campton University?”
“Is Justin Bieber your boyfriend?”
“Yes.” Shaking my head, I was just about to ask him why he was questioning the obvious when I noticed that he has gotten just what he wanted out of me. The point of our conversation now handed right over to him with no hesitation.
The bastard had tricked me.
Grinning, he was just about to say something else when Carly interrupted.
“I found it!” She squealed from behind, probably holding her phone out for visionary but I was too engrossed with Tanner to even turn around and see for myself. “Kels—” Carly began, making her way next to me before her eyes fell on the guy standing across from me, a bit too close for comfort if you ask me. “Who are you?”
“I’m Tanner,” He smiled and something about it made my stomach swoop. “Tanner Evans.” He winked, grabbing Carly’s hand and pressing a kiss to it. “And you are?”
“Carly,” She blushed and my mouth nearly fell open in shock. “Carly Risi.”
I mentally slapped her across the face for being so plainly open to a stranger who she had just met or seen for that matter. Not that I was any better but in my defense I was tricked into it.
“Carly… hm,” He paused as if mentally taking note on what her name sounded like, “such a beautiful name for a very beautiful girl,” He suggestively wiggled his eyes, dropping Carly’s hand as it fell back down to her side.
Carly’s eyes glistened in astonishment, completely hazed over by his charm. “Thank you.” She giggled, the red tinted in her cheeks glowing immensely.
I nudged my elbow into her, bringing her back to reality as she hissed under her breath, shooting be a quick side glare as if to say what the fuck? But I managed to ignore her as I turned to face Tanner once more. “She has a boyfriend.” I snapped, jerking Tanner’s attention away from Carly and over to me. “Just letting you know.”
“Oh,” Tanner took a step back, sliding his hands away in the depths of his pockets. “I didn’t know that. However, it was harmless. There were no intentions behind it.” His blue eyes danced across from me back to Carly. “I’m sorry.” He apologized.
I raised an eyebrow, clearly not believing him. “Uh, huh…”
“Don’t worry about it,” Carly waved a hand dismissively, giving a small smile in return.
Taking notice that things have been extremely awkward, I cleared my throat. “Well it was, uhm, nice meeting you?” I cringed at the words, “but we have to go. Bye.” Grabbing onto Carly’s elbow, I pulled her away and over to her car before letting her go.
“Ow, what the hell Kelsey?” Carly spat, turning to me as she rubbed her palm against the skin I had pinched with my nails due to how hard I had gripped her.
“Are you an idiot or are you an idiot?” I threw my hands in the air after I had thrown my books into the back seat of her car.
“What did I do?”
“Oh, I don’t know…” I sarcastically trailed off, placing a finger to the tip of my chin as if I were deep in thought. “Maybe the fact that you completely flirted with some random guy whom I’m convinced is a freak!”
“How the hell do you know if he’s a freak or not?”
“Maybe because the first thing he asked me was if Justin was my boyfriend? Or the fact that he practically already knew who I was before I even told him?” I whisper shouted, not being able to believe Carly was actually defending the likes of a guy she had just met.
“Wait a second,” Carly walked closer to me, her voice dialed down to a murmur. “What do you mean he knew you? I’ve never seen him around campus before.”
“Exactly the point I was trying to get across to you.” I sighed, licking my lips. “Let’s just head back to the house, I’ll tell you on the drive there.” Smack down in the middle of the school’s parking lot wasn’t exactly the opening for a discussion like this. Opening the passenger door, I sat inside the car, waiting for Carly to do the same.
When she did, turning the car on in the process, I turned to her. “Okay,” I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, replaying everything that just happened in my head. “I was walking over to your car and I obviously wasn’t looking because I bumped into him. My books fell to the floor and I bent down to pick them up and he was helping me. I took them from him as we stood up…” I scrunched my face up, thinking about what happened after that. “And I began to thank him, wanting to do so properly with a name when he introduced himself to me and I was about to do the same when he answered for me and then asked me if I was Justin’s girlfriend which had weird written all over it. Why would he know something like that?”
“Well, Justin isn’t really unknown around here, Kels…”
“But I haven’t been seen around Justin for years, how the hell would he know something like that without even at least seeing us once? I’ve never, ever even seen him around Stratford before.”
Carly bit the inside of her cheek, taking a sharp intake of breath. “I don’t know Kelsey, I really don’t. He seemed harmless to me when I approached you guys.”
“Yeah but when it was just us, he was asking me all these questions that he already knew the answers to like what color my eyes were. He even tricked me into revealing I was Justin’s girlfriend.”
Carly rattled her brain for an answer but came out with nothing. All she could do was shake her head. “Are you going to tell Justin?”
I sighed, sinking my teeth into my bottom lip. “As much as I don’t want to, I have to, Carly. I can’t just let this go without at least consulting him about it… maybe he knows him or something. Maybe he’s even a friend?”
Carly nodded, agreeing with my decision. “I guess we’ll see back at the house now, won’t we?” She gave me a look that I knew all too well.
The look the spelt trouble, the look that told me that Justin wasn’t going to be too pleased about what I was going to tell him and I prayed to God that he wouldn’t lose his mind over this because the last thing we needed was for him to serve another three years in jail for killing someone.
Justin’s Point of View:
“The Snipers?” I emphasized, interest sparking within me as the adrenaline I’ve been longing to feel began to pump through my veins.
“Local gang from the states,” Bruce tucked his phone away in the back pocket of his jeans as he turned to face me. “Group of four, two are older, the other two about your age and from what I’ve heard they’re pretty big from where they come from. They’ve done a few risky jobs and from what people say, they’re lethal.”
“Lethal, my ass,” I scoffed. “If the fuckers know what’s good for them, they wouldn’t have stepped foot on our territory. It’s fucking common sense.” I smirked. “Unless they know what they’re doing…”
“And want in on our turf.” John finished off for me, seizing onto my theory behind their arrival.
I nodded my head in agreement. “Exactly. It only makes sense that they pick now to come too with me out of jail and all.”
“What they don’t know though,” Bruce wavered a finger in our direction as he sat down on the couch. “Is that we’re not up for negotiating.”
“Clearly,” I barked a sharp laugh. “This is our land, we run shit here and there is no way in hell I’m going to share it with some crew who thinks just because they’ve done some crazy shit in the past, they’re all of a sudden tough.”
“I agree with Justin.” Marcus cut in, taking a seat next to Bruce. “We worked our asses off for the things we’ve accomplished here. No one in the area has even tried to pull the shit we have off.”
“Which is what they are coming here for,” Marco rested his ass on the arm of the couch opposite Bruce and Marcus. “They want to prove that they belong here and that they can do things better than we can.”
I smirked, shaking my head. “They want to play fire with fire. They’re supposedly the best from where they come from and we’re clearly the top here in little Stratty so they want to go toe to toe with us to see who’s enhanced.”
“They want what they can’t have fellas,” Bruce settled back against the couch, spreading his arms out beside him on either side. “It’s up to us to show them that there is no way in hell they are going to do anything here as long as we’re alive.”
“Kinda reminds me of someone else who tried to start shit with us…” I paused, “look where that ended him up.” I referred back to my encounter with Delgado, may that bastard burn in hell with the shit he’s put both me and my girl through.
“Which is exactly what’s not going to happen this time,” Bruce warned, snapping his head over to me. “Unless it’s necessary, there will be no killing involved.”
I shrugged my shoulders, “My fists work too.” I grinned.
Bruce shook his head, giving me a look before moving onto our conversation. “They want to meet up with us tonight.”
I raised an eyebrow out of curiosity. “When and where?”
“Midnight tonight at our warehouse on Huffington.”
“Why am I not surprised?” I stifled a short chuckle, knowing exactly what their game was. “They want a good look at our shit so they know exactly what to hit and what to get.”
“Which is why we’re going to go over to Delgado’s old place down by River Bay.” Bruce stated a matter-of-factly. “Now that he’s dead and gone, no one’s up for taking it so we play it off as if it’s ours.”
I scowled, my anger rising just at the thought of him. “I thought we bombed that shit?”
“We bombed his other warehouse,” Bruce notified me. “Turned out Luke had more than one.”
I furrowed my eyebrows together in misperception. “Since when did he have another warehouse?”
When Bruce opened his mouth to—what I presumed to be an explanation—the front door opened, cutting him short.
Turning to see who it was, my body relaxed once I saw it was my girl and to my utter displeasure, Carly as they walked in with books in their hands.
“Hey,” Kelsey acknowledged us, breathless. Her cheeks were a flaming red and her eyes distant. Something was wrong, I could feel it.
Carly nudged her side as she walked by; giving her a look before going over to John and engulfing him in an embrace that truthfully made me want to puke.
“How was school baby girl?” I asked her the second she walked over to me. Leaning down, I pressed my lips to hers, giving her a chaste kiss.
“It was boring,” Kelsey sighed after pulling away. Fluttering her eyes open, I noticed the worry in the swirls of chocolate pools that were engraved in them. Bringing my right hand out of the pocket of my jeans, I ran my knuckles up and down her cheek, my thumb swiping over the soft skin soon after. “What’s wrong?”
Her eyes enlarged at my question before they went back to normal. Clearing her throat, she shook her head. “I’m…” Kelsey closed her eyes before re-opening them and looking up at me. “Not fine.” She confessed, fidgeting on her feet.
Protective mode kicked in and instantly my high alert was up. “What happened?” My jaw tightened and the edges of my eyes stung from the amount of pressure I was putting on them. “Did someone try to hurt you?”
“No,” She shook her head. “Nobody tried to hurt me… well, I don’t think so. I,” Pausing, Kelsey swallowed. “Can we talk about this upstairs?” She whispered, trying not to make it obvious that she didn’t want to discuss this in front of the guys.
Without even hesitating, I agreed. “Yeah, let’s go.” Taking her hand in mine, I gestured towards the guys with two fingers as my goodbye before leading Kelsey up the stairs and into my room.
When I closed the door, I followed her over to the bed where she sat down cross legged, patting the spot in front of her.
Sitting down where she had indicated for me to, I placed a comforting hand on her knee. “Okay, tell me what happened.”
“Don’t be mad.” She whispered, looking down at her hands, avoiding my gaze and that’s when I knew she wasn’t referring to me being angry with her. She was fearful of what she was going to tell me that would set me off.
“I won’t.” I reassured with a kiss to her forehead.
“Okay,” She mumbled, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “When Carly and I were finished with school, she forgot her phone back in the classroom so she told me to go find her car and turn it on while she went back.”
I nodded my head for her to continue.
“And so I did and when I was walking, I wasn’t looking and I bumped into somebody. I bent down to grab my books when I saw another hand helping me out and I looked up to see this guy whom I’ve never seen before.”
My body froze, my blood turning to ice as I waited for Kelsey to finish what she was saying while trying hard not to lose my self-control.
“I took the books from him and I was going to thank him when I realized I didn’t even know who he was, when he introduced himself to me and you know, I thought I’d return the favor so I was going to tell him my name when he did it for me…”
“Hold on,” I put a hand up, shaking my head while trying to piece together what she had just told mer. “What are you trying to say?” I dropped my hand. “That he already knew your name?”
Kelsey toyed with the hem of her shirt as she looked at anything but me. “Yes.” She mumbled.
My heart sunk at the way Kelsey refused to look at me and I knew then that it wasn’t only because she was afraid of my reaction. She was afraid and that was enough to drive me up a wall. I took deep breaths, wanting myself to stay calm enough to comfort my girl.
Kelsey picked at her nail polish, trying to refrain from telling me anything else which only pissed me off. “Why do I have a feeling you’re not telling me something else?”
She snapped her head up, looking as if she’s seen a ghost. “What?”
“Don’t play dumb with me.” I hissed, tired of all the bullshitting going on today. “What else happened Kelsey and don’t lie to me.” I pressed; my voice sharp and straight to the point. Her safety was more important to me and if this son of a bitch was some sort of threat against her, there was no way in hell I was going to let her leave any details out of this little encounter.
Knowing there was no way out of this one; Kelsey eased her nerves with an inhale and exhale soon following before looking at me. “He knew I was your girlfriend.”
I blinked a couple times, trying to ease my mind and focus on one thing at a time. “Let me get this straight,” I chuckled humorlessly. “This guy, who you’ve never met before, claimed to know your name and the fact that you’re my girlfriend?”
Kelsey pressed her lips together in a firm line before slowly nodding her head.
Without even a second thought, I shot up to my feet and made a dash towards the door.
“Wait! What are you doing?” Kelsey shouted as she jumped from the bed and chased after me. “Where are you going?”
I turned around once I made it down the stairs, Kelsey’s body colliding with mine. “What’s his name?”
“Who?” She played stupid.
“God damn it Kelsey! This is no time for games right now! If this bastard is onto something and really is some sort of threat to you; I can’t have you holding out on me.” I barked, causing her to jump from my reaction but at this point, I didn’t care. “What’s his name?”
“Don’t do this, please.” She begged, shaking her head. “We don’t even know him! You can’t be sure he’s going to hurt me.” She pleaded, desperate for me to listen to her but my mind was swirling with all sorts of ways this could end up and the last thing I needed was for her to be hurt again.
“If you weren’t worried you would have never told me Kelsey so don’t bullshit me with this ‘we don’t know anything’ crap. He knows your name and who you’re associated with without you even knowing who he is! If that’s not shady then I don’t know what the fuck is.”
“Just, please, hear me out.” She spoke in a soothing voice as if I was a child and she was my mother.
“Stop talking to me like I’m some kid!” I shouted, my arms flying in the air out of frustration. “I heard enough. Now, I’m going to find this motherfucker and make sure he never comes near you again.” Turning towards the door, I grabbed the knob, ready to twist it when I felt Kelsey clutch onto my arm. Ripping out of her hold, I turned in time to see her stumble back before stopping just in time before she fell. “Shit.” I muttered, running a hand up and down my face before rushing it through my hair and pulling at the ends. “I’m sorry.” I murmured, reaching out to her which only resulted in her taking a step back.
“I don’t want your stupid apologies.” She spat, her eyes narrowed and on edge. “What I want is for you to calm down and think rationally about this.” She stood her ground, stomping her foot against the hardwood floors, the sound echoing.
“What’s there to think about?” I roared, “You said so yourself, he knows who you are and last time I checked, nobody relatively normal goes up to some random girl and automatically knows who they are!”
Kelsey shook her head. “This is exactly why I didn’t want to tell you!” She gestured towards me with her arms. “You lose control of your surroundings and completely black out!”
“Did you honestly expect me to be okay with this?” I looked at her as if she had five heads. “No one in their right mind would take this kind of news and be okay with it.”
“I’m not saying it’s something to take lightly. All I’m saying is that I want you to relax before doing anything because I know how you are and I know what you do when you’re angry and right now, you’re fuming so I need you to sit down.” She pointed towards the couches where the guys were currently sitting, staring over at us, speechless.
“What are you afraid of?!” I screamed, not being able to contain my anger in any longer. She was making it seem like this wasn’t a big deal and I wouldn’t have that because the last thing we both needed was another Luke to come into the picture.
“You leaving me again!” She cried out, tears engulfing her eyes as she vigorously shook her head at me once she realized what she had said.
My stomach fell as so did my face. The air in the room was so thick, not even a knife would’ve been able to cut through it.
“You happy now?” Kelsey sniffled, wiping her face clean of tears. “That’s why I don’t want you running off doing God knows what.” Taking a deep breath, she sighed.
“Jesus Christ, Kelsey…” I muttered, the guilt kicking in. “How many times am I going to have to tell you that I’m never leav—”
“It’s not that.” She groaned, rubbing the palm of her hand with the thumb of her other. “It’s the fact that you’re fuming right now, you don’t know what to do and you think out of your ass then you do your head. I know you and I know the second you get the chance, you’ll kill him and I can’t have you going to jail again because to be honest, I don’t think I’ll be able to handle another three years without you.”
My shoulders fell, my stomach clenching and unclenching unpleasantly, everything inside of me numbing. “Fuck.” I rasped, all the frustrations built inside of me vanishing at the sight of Kelsey’s vulnerability and I was brought back to the first time I realized I wasn’t going to see her anymore.
There was a hard knock at the door causing me to snap my head up to see who it was. I curled my hands into fists when I realized it was the old fuck that stuffed me the confinement of this god forsaken room. “Bieber, you have a visitor.” His voice sent shockwaves of annoyance running through me.
I rolled my eyes, nodding my head signifying to let them in.
Closing the door, it was left open to be pushed back open again. I was relieved when I saw Bruce step inside instead of some other cop trying to get information out of me.
“Hey,” He stuffed his hands in his pockets, evidently worn out over what has happened these last couple of days. “How’re you holding up?”
“You tell me Bruce,” I scoffed in sarcasm with a shake of my head. “I’m on call for murder. It can’t get any better than that.”
“Do you know how long they’ve got you in for?” Bruce muttered after minutes of silence.
“I’ve got it set for life but apparently Jean’s got something up her sleeve to get me out of it.” I shrugged, settling back in the highly uncomfortable chair I’ve been forced upon. “It wasn’t cold blooded murder, you know. I had a reason for killing the bastard.” I seethed through gritted teeth, the image of that sick smirk plastered on his face just before he died flashing through my mind.
“I know but because these assholes have been trying to get you behind bars for years, they’ll do anything to see you suffer even if that means giving you what you don’t deserve.” Bruce muttered, disgusted with the way the system worked. We had no say because I everyone’s eyes, we were the bad guys.
“I know but Jean will find a way out.” I shrugged, trying to play it cool, as if it didn’t affect me even though I knew that Bruce was right. The cops have been up my ass ever since the first job I had done and they’ve been desperate to take me down and now I gave them a free ticket in to do just that.
“You’ll be okay man,” Bruce sliced through the wall of uncertainty that had formed around us. “They don’t call you Danger for nothing, right?” He lightly smirked, wanting to ease the tension.
I cracked a small smile. “Yeah…” I trailed off, not knowing what else to say. “You guys will be fine without me, you know.”
“I’m serious.” I cut him off. “You guys know what you’re doing; you have it in the bag. Don’t worry about me, okay? I’ll be fine.”
“It’s not going to be the same without you… as corny as this may sound, I’m going to miss your tempered, sarcastic, irritating, slightly conceited—”
“I get it.” I laughed for the first time since I arrived at the station, shaking my head.
“Sorry,” He grinned, “but I mean it. The house will feel empty.”
“I’m sure you’ll survive without me for a few years.”
Bruce continued to look at me for what felt like forever, neither one of us saying anything as another coat of stillness asphyxiated. That is, until Bruce brought up the one subject I had completely forgot about.
“What about Kelsey?” Bruce furrowed his eyebrows together, the question coming out more as a statement than anything else. “You know she’s going to be devastated when she finds out.”
“Shit,” I hissed, the reality of what was going on fully kicking in. “The dinner.” Standing up, I began to pace the floors, taking multiple deep breaths. “I completely forgot about that.” Running both of my hands through my hair, I feverently tugged at all corners, the pressure baring on top of my shoulders. “I can’t lose her.” I slurred in anguish as I rubbed the back of my neck. “She’s going to hate me. She…” I shook my head, squeezing my eyes shut. “Fucking hell,”
“Don’t do this to yourself man.” Bruce tried to comfort me with his words of encouragement but my mind was elsewhere at this point.
“I’ll talk to her, she’ll understand. She has to.” I mumbled to no one in particular, discussing with myself what I was going to do before I looked over at Bruce. “Give me your phone.”
“I don’t think that’s—”
“Just give me your damn phone, Bruce.” I spat, holding my hand out to him.
Digging in the pocket of his jeans, Bruce pulled his phone out before laying it on the palm of my hand.
Curling my fingers around it, I tugged it to me, not wasting a second’s time as I began dialing her phone number before pressing it to my ear. I bit the inside of my cheek, waiting for her to pick up. After several rings, a pause was heard. “Kelsey—”
“Hey! It’s Kelsey. I can’t get to the phone—” Tearing the phone away from my ear, I ended the call before re-dialing her number. I repeated this about five more times only to be met with the same recorded machine: “Hey! It’s Kelsey. I can’t get to the phone right now. Leave a message after the beep and I’ll get to you when I can. Thanks!”
Growling, I clutched the phone hard, my patience running thin. I nearly threw the phone across the room but stopped myself once I realized it wasn’t mine. Handing it over to Bruce, I slammed my closed handed fists down on the table in front of me.
“She’s not picking up.” I spoke venomously, guilt eating away at my insides.
The door opened, interrupting our conversation. “Visiting hours is now over, I’m afraid you have to leave sir.” The same prick from before held onto the metal knob gesturing with his other hand out towards the hallway.
Bruce nodded once before turning to me. “We’ll talk more tomorrow, okay?”
“I’m afraid that won’t happen.” A sick smirk twisted on the old man’s lips, his eyes glinting with nothing but joy. “It looks like Mr. Bieber here has gotten a verdict on his case.''
After Bruce left, I completely lost my mind. I threw the chair I had been sitting on across the room, flipped the table over and nearly broke my hand repeatedly punching the walls.
Ever since that day, I swore to myself that the moment I was discharged, there was no I was going to go through the thought of not seeing or talking to her. I vowed to make sure nothing like that ever happened again.
Relaxing myself enough to console her, I pulled Kelsey into my arms. “I’m sorry.” I whispered, placing a kiss on the top of her head. “I just can’t risk you getting hurt again because of me.”
“I forgive you.” She murmured into my chest. “I’ll tell you his name, I don’t care about that. I just don’t want you going after him.”
“I won’t.” I pulled away, brushing the hair that fell in front of her face back. “I swear.”
Nodding, she took a deep breath. “It’s Tanner Evans.”
“Tanner Evans?” I asked, to make sure I heard her right.
“Yeah, well, that’s what he told me.” She shrugged.
I thought about it, thinking if the name rang a bell but nothing came up. “I’ll be right back.” I moved past Kelsey, towards the basement. Jogging down the stairs, I looked around the room in search for something that would be of a huge help in this situation. Once I found it stuck between several other things, I grabbed our equipment laptop before going back upstairs and into the living room where I took a seat next to Bruce on the couch.
“What are you doing?” Kelsey walked over to me, standing behind as she peeked over my shoulder.
“Searching him.” I nonchalantly replied as if it was an everyday thing I did.
“Oh,” Interest sparked in her as she wrapped her arms around my neck from behind, laying her chin on top of my shoulder.
Typing in his name, I pressed a few more buttons before the program did its job, looking up what I had indicated for it to.
Within seconds, a match was found. Clicking it open, a picture with information listed off to the side of it opened up.
“That’s him,” Kelsey pointed at the picture. “That’s the guy.”
Extending my neck so I can look at her, I raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure?”
“Mhm,” She pressed a kiss to the side of my neck. “I’m positive.”
“Okay,” I scrolled over, zooming in on the data. “Well it says here that he lived in Colorado but moved here about a month ago. He enrolled in Campton University just last week. He was the highest in his class and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. He was also the president of the student council…”
“Seems pretty harmless to me.” John stated with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Yeah, too good to get into trouble.” Marco chuckled, “I mean when I was in high school, I was suspended every chance I got.”
A gasp emitted from Carly’s lips as she stared over at Marco, wide eyed. “Watch out,” She flailed her arms in the air, “we’ve got a badass over here.” She snorted, smirking in his direction.
I laughed causing everyone to stare at me as if I had committed a sin. “What?”
“Nothing,” The said in unison.
Rolling my eyes, I licked my lips. “Whatever,” I turned my attention back to the screen. “It still doesn’t make any sense to me. What reason would he have to go up to Kelsey?”
Bruce shrugged, “You know people gossip. It’s what they live off of.”
I contemplated what he had said before slamming the laptop shut. “I still don’t trust him.” I mumbled.
“I’m not going to lie, I’d be pretty on edge too if some guy came up to my girl knowing shit he wasn’t supposed to but you’ve got to let it go.” Bruce placed a hand on my shoulder. “The kid’s nothing but innocent besides, we have other things to be worried about.” He gave me a knowing look, indicating towards the meeting we had tonight with the so-called “Snipers”.
“What things?” Kelsey turned to look at me.
“Just some catching up with the boys, that’s all.” I gave her a reassuring smile before taking one of her hands and kissing it. “Come here,” I patted my leg.
Unwrapping her arms from around my neck and walking around over to me, Kelsey settled herself on my lap before nuzzling her head into the nape of my neck.
Wrapping an arm around her, I kept her close to me while running my fingers up and down the length of her arm in a comforting manner. “I love you.” I whispered in her ear, kissing it soon after.
“I love you too.”
Kelsey’s Point of View:
We spent the remainder of the day goofing off. We each pigged out on a bag of chips, ate several packages of sour patch kids and then we watched a couple movies. For the first time in years, it felt like everything was back to normal.
It felt as though nothing has changed.
Half way into the third movie we began watching, Crazy Stupid Love—thanks to Carly for putting it on or else I would have had to murder someone if we were stuck having to watch some action movie again—I felt my eyes getting heavier with each passing second.
“Are you tired baby?” Justin nuzzled his nose into my cheek.
I nodded, too exhausted to say anything.
“Okay guys, I think it’s time I call it a night.” Tucking an arm under my bent knees and another around my upper body, Justin stood up. “I’ll see you guys later—tomorrow.” He quickly corrected himself but I was too engrossed into the slumber that was close to overcoming me that I didn’t put any attention to it.
“Yeah, see you Bieber. Goodnight Kels.” Bruce waved in my direction.
Giving him a thumbs up, he chuckled, shaking his head.
Taking two steps at a time, Justin kicked his door open and closed with his foot before laying me down on his bed.
Stifling a yawn, I nuzzled up into my pillow, wanting nothing more than a good night’s rest.
Tearing the shirt he was wearing off of his body and throwing it on the floor, Justin walked over to the bed. Pressing his right knee onto the mattress, he leaned over me, his fingers falling to the button on my jeans.
I shot my eyes open, alarmed. “What are you doing?”
“Relax,” Justin laughed. “I’m just taking them off so it’s more comfortable for you to sleep. I know you’re exhausted. It’s a lot to take in in just two days.”
“Oh,” I blushed. “Alright.”
He lightly smirked, unbuttoning my jeans and pulling the zipper down before tugging them off my legs, discarding them to the side. Laying each of his hands on either side of my head, I smiled as he gave me a sweet kiss to the lips/
Removing himself, Justin then proceeded to take off his own jeans, leaving him only in boxers. Circling my waist with his arm, Justin held me up while he pulled the blanket down with the other enough to slid himself in next to me. Bringing the blanket to cover us, Justin kept me close while pressing his lips to my forehead. “Goodnight beautiful.”
I smiled, digging my head into his chest, loving the feeling of his body against mine. “Goodnight.”
I could feel his smile forming on the top of my head as he ran his fingers through my hair.
I relaxed into his arms, the rising and falling of his chest mixed with the beating of his heart enough to cause darkness to unfold beneath my closing eyes.
“I’m going to protect you,” Justin whispered as I began doze off. “I’m never going to let anyone hurt you again.” Kissing my hair, he smoothed it over with the palm of his hand. “I promise.”
Justin’s Point of View:
Pulling a black v-neck over my head, I ran my fingers through my hair. Shuffling heard as I turned my head to see Kelsey turn onto her stomach, her tresses sprawled out in front of her face.
Glancing over at the time, it read 11:45pm. Knowing we had about ten minutes to make it on point for our arrival due to the meeting, I quickly took hold of the leather jacket I had perched on my chair, putting it on before walking over to Kelsey. Brushing her hair back, I kneeled down beside her. She looked so peaceful in her sleep, it was a refreshing sight to see and I’ll be damned if anyone tried to ruin that.
Kissing the side of her head, I pulled away before standing up. Walking over to the door, I pulled it open before cramming my neck to give Kelsey one last look when instant memories of that night rushing back like a ton of bricks.
“So,” Kelsey smiled up at me. “Will you be able to come tonight?”
Staring into her eyes, I ran my fingers through my hair, massaging my scalp gently releasing and nodding. “I don’t see why not.”
Squealing, she hugged me tight. “This is going to be so much fun!”
“Oh, tons babe, I can just see the excitement in your parent’s eyes when they see me walk through the front door.” I mocked with a smirk.
“So negative,” She grumbled, shaking her head. “Think positive!” She laughed, squeezing my cheeks in her hands as she planted a sloppy kiss on my lips, never wanting this moment between us to end. “I love you.” She sing-sang, in one of the best moods I’d seen her in.
Chuckling, amused with her actions, I grinned. “I love you too.” Hooking an arm around her waist, I smiled. “Now, c’mere” Sliding her close, I kissed her on the lips.
“You never get tired of that, do you?” She mumbled against me.
“What? Kissing you?”
I smirked. “Nope”— kiss—“I”—kiss—“don’t.”
“You’re crazy.” She giggled, resting her chin against my chest as she stared up at me with complete adoration, never wanting this moment to end.
“And you’re sexy.” I wiggled my eyebrows, smiling down at her.
Sighing in satisfaction, she sucked in a deep breath. “Why can’t everyday be like this; loving, peaceful and fun?”
“Because those three adjectives don’t necessarily go along with the life I live baby.”
She shrugged. “We can make it work.”
“Yes, we can.” Kissing her once more, I pulled away. “I’ve got to head on over to my place soon.”
“No,” She whined, tightening her arms around him. “Don’t, please.”
“I have to baby; I’ve got a lot of things to cover.” I sadly stared down at her, not wanting to release her either.
“Don’t worry about it; just keep focus on the dinner tonight. Pick a hot dress and look pretty, not that that’s hard for you because you’re always beautiful in my eyes.”
“I’m serious Kels,” Grabbing her hands in mine, I squeezed them reassuringly. “I’ll be here sometime tonight. I may be a little late but I’ll make it.”
“I know you will that’s not the problem Justin. I just don’t want you to go…”
“Kelsey.” I closed my eyes, taking a deep breath. “Don’t make this hard.”
“I’m not trying to… it’s just we were having such a good time and I don’t want it to end so soon.”
“Think about it this way, once we get tonight out of the way, I’ll be able to see you whenever I want without having to sneak in.”
She contemplated what I said before finally giving in. “Alright.” She nodded, smiling slightly. “You’re right.”
“Of course I am babe. When am I ever wrong?” I raised an eyebrow jokingly.
“Never,” She emphasized sarcastically before rolling her eyes and lightly laughing.
“Exactly,” I chuckled, pulling away from her. “I’ll see you later, okay?”
Grasping her face into my hands, I placed a soft yet forceful kiss on her lips, determined to transfer all the passion I could muster to her before pulling away, my eyes still closed. Taking a deep breath, I stepped back.
“Love you too.” Giving her one last look, I shot her a soothing smile before leaving through the window.
Shaking my head, I bit my lip, shaking the retentions away. This was not the time to start reminding myself of how many mistakes I had made in the past, all of which involved the one girl sprawled on my bed.
Tearing my gaze away, I shut the door closed behind me, careful not to make any noise before trudging down the stairs.
“About time you showed up.” Bruce scolded.
I shrugged, “It’s better late than never, right?”
Choosing to ignore me, Bruce turned to face the others. “We go in head strong. What they say or do doesn’t affect us. We let them know what’s to go down while they’re here and if they chose to disobey our wishes then we let them in on what’ll happen if they do.”
I smirked, already knowing this was going to be fun to toy with. Guys who come looking for trouble usually find it when they come in contact with us. “Should I bring my camera to film it too? I’d love to see their faces when you hand their asses to them.”
“I told you there will be no violent altercations unless they pull one on us. This isn’t a meeting set to kill. This is one to set things straight and let them know what they’re in for while on our territory.”
“Way to ruin the fun, Bruce.”
“Do you want a repeat of what happened last time?” Bruce stared at me long and hard, his eyes burning holes through my flesh but the amount of anger that registered inside of me was nothing compared.
Firmly keeping my hands rolled into my sides, I locked my jaw tight. “No.” I muttered, venom leaking with that one syllable and slipping through the ears of everyone standing there, reminding them of the hatred I had towards bringing up the one thing I despised.
Bruce cleared this throat, “Good,” He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Then we’re good to go?”
“Yeah, let’s go.” John motioned towards the door as we began walking out only I had other things in mind.
“I’ll be right back,” Shoving past them, I walked over to the closet hidden behind the cut off, rounded wall. Wrenching the door open, I grabbed the box on top of the shelf, rolling the code on the dial before tearing it open and taking hold of the gun I had inside. Stuffing it in the back of my jeans, I covered it with my shirt.
Putting it back where I had found it, slamming the door shut, I walked out of the house and over to the car where everyone was sitting.
Seating myself in the passenger side, I settled myself comfortably back, my face short of emotions, adrenaline pumping in my veins.
“Where did you go?” Bruce asked as he revved up the car, ready to take off.
“None of your business,” I sneered, “now drive.”
Knowing I wasn’t in the mood to be questioned any further, Bruce pulled out of the driveway and onto the street before speeding down it.
I watched as the shimmer of each tree, sign and person we drove by became a blur the faster Bruce drove. Keeping myself in check, I reminded that I couldn’t lose control but that little bit of me still pumping with anger told me otherwise.
Within seconds, Bruce drove into the lane roomed with countless beaten up sheds, a few warehouses coming into view of those that belonged to other groups before finally Bruce began to settle down near a vacant lot where off to the side stood a warehouse I had never seen before.
“This is it?” I pointed out of the window, my eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. “How come I have never seen this before?”
“I told you Delgado had another warehouse. Neither one of us even knew about it. It came to be just as much as a surprise to us as it was to you.” Killing the engine, Bruce pulled the keys out once he parked the car around back where no one would see it. “Come on, we better head in.”
Exiting the car, we all walked up the back way being that we had parked near it and opened the door before stepping inside. Everything was taken down, not a single speck of evidence left behind that anyone had even placed here.
“What time is it?” Marcus asked as he made his way around to us.
Bruce checked the watch balanced on his wrist. “It’s exactly twelve o’clock. We’re—”
“—right on time.” Another voice was heard, a voice that made every hair on my arms stand on end. A voice I have heard once before. Turning around, I was met with the eyes of the one guy I never thought I’d see again.
“We meet again, Bieber.” He smirked.
Oh, fuck me to hell.