After ignoring my calls and texts, things had grown outlandishly awkward between me and Calum. After thinking about everything for a good long while. I was left to think that maybe I should take my trip to Chicago sooner than intended. I would've, if the Realtors weren't still getting my Apartment ready for my arrival.

The best thing about the cyber world, was not having to drive all the way to Chicago to discuss business with the Institutes' Estate Consultant. Though it took a while, and I just wanted them to be done with it already.

             'You don't have to apologize for being guarded Adams,' I advised Russell dismissively, shrugging marginally.

We sat across from each other, over a cup of Coffee at the Coffee Shop. I had accepted Russell's invite to have a cup, and it seemed it was for him to apologize to me. I was flattered by the gesture, but I'd long past forgiven him for everything.

The ruthless disregard for my feelings. The way he would shut me down when I spoke. His constant need to turn down my help, whenever I offered. Among many other factors, that would chase any normal human being away.

            'But still-.' He started but I stopped him, from saying anything further.

             'What you need to do is order me another coffee.' I mused and he chuckled lightly.

It was quite refreshing to see him in this kind of light, for he was more outgoing. And his laughs were simply breathtaking, in every little crack and outburst of humor. I never envisioned him to be so down to earth, but the man must have had substantial reason for his actions.

Only that was just the rational side of me speaking, knowing well that I'd judged the man erroneously at first.

            'Ok, so tell me about yourself.' Russell commenced and our gazes locked for a few fleeting seconds.

I had begun to wonder why he had this sudden interest in me, but it was an innocuous question. I could simply answer it, or persistently watch him like a cretin. The latter being less to my liking, so I gave him the best answer that I could offer.

          'There's nothing fascinating about me. I'm just a conventional guy. Teaching Kids and just going about daily life. I'm twenty one years old and I like cooking, but love Children even more.' I gave him a rundown all in one.

          'I enjoy cooking as well. Do you want kids?' He asked and I nodded a yes.

           'Someday, I'll probably have a whole bunch of them running around.' I commented as he smiled, and for the first time since meeting him. I authentically descried how entranced I was by his smile. Which he displayed in the light of day.

            'Well that seems like a scenario I won't want to experience. Timothy was no issue, besides the crying at late night. Just know that if you do have a Kid or two. You won't be sleeping at night for a while.' I chuckled at that and we paused for a second, silence passing between us again.

We had somehow locked gazes again. Seconds passing as if they were minutes. I really wanted to tear my gaze away from his, but I couldn't. He kept peering at me consistently, and I grew hot with angst. I failed to understand what was going on between us at that moment, and I equally failed to describe it to myself. Partly conflicted, wondering if I liked it or not.

           'Well I handle them everyday. Piece of cake.' I chimed and he rose an eyebrow in disbelief.

            'Hardly believe you on that.' He scoffed, followed by a deep chuckle. 'Did you grow up around here?' he asked and I nodded a simple no.

            'Moved here when I was about fifteen. Been here ever since, technically this place is Home.' I muttered softly, for I was sure to miss it after I left.

            'What about you?' I re-directed the question to him, but he was a tad bit hesitant. After five seconds, he finally answered.

            'Born and raised here, never moved. Never contemplated it either.' He replied with a dismissive grunt.

I could tell that he was emotionally connected to Boston. For in some way I dreaded leaving, even when I knew it would be good for me. There was something clutching about a place, once you've been settled enough.

Appreciate it clutched onto Russell, and in a far more severe way than it did me. For everything he'd ever known was here. Everything that wasn't as easy to let go, much like another person could.

           'There's a saying about Home.' I nodded and his eyes fluttered down to gaze his virtually empty cup atop the table.

The Coffee House was filled with a calming ambience, and I was enjoying Russell's company more than I expected I would. It was as if we both turned a new leaf, when it concerned us being in the same space. For at one point I couldn't stand the man, or so I could convince myself.

          'What saying is that?' He queried with  curiosity and my eyes widened.

           'I have no idea. I thought you knew.' I added veraciously and he burst out laughing. A heftily ponderous and throaty laugh that vibrated through my psyche.

            'You are good company Kai James,' he verbalized and my cheeks flamed yet again.

            'Well if it isn't Russell Adams looking well and healthy,' a raspy voice spoke before us, grabbing me and Russell's attention in an instant.

The man that stood before us was oddly eccentric, and his fashion sense threatened to blind me. A purple suit, with an odd, bright orange tie. I gave him a once over, taking notice of the two men that stood behind him. Their stances were somewhat threatening, and I rose an eyebrow. The two men were dressed in black, well pressed suits. They were obviously strapped at the hip. And I grew nervous, in a quiet instance.

            'Chibald,' Russell grated out heavily as he rose from the table. 'I already told you where you can find your Shit. What are you doing here?.' Russell stated in a cold, harsh voice.

I then realized that one of them must have shot Russell. If t wasn't the oddly dressed one himself. He must have had quite the reputation, for a few patrons at the Coffee Shop left in haste. The others brave enough to stay, looked on with nervous gazes. The others just clueless, yet inquisitive.

           'A man can't enjoy a cup of Coffee like everyone else?' The man asked with a condescending chuckle.

            'What's going on?' I asked with a slight frown, rising from my chair as well.

            'Kai,' Russell spun around to face me, gently resting both hands on my upper arms. 'Just go now, and we'll talk later. I don't want you caught up in this mess.' He said in a low whisper, gently nudging me to go.

I wasn't just going to leave him there, because I wanted to help him. If this Chibald Character was the one who shot Russell. Then he had a lot to answer for, and I intended for him to. Almost killing Russell, was enough to surmount a certain amount of bravery inside me. It might have been naivety, but I knew exactly what needed to be done.

          'So you're the one who shot him?' I stepped away from Russell, who's gaze hardened when I stepped away to face Chibald.

           'You don't want to get involved little man.' Chibald warned, and I rose an eyebrow. 'So just do what your Boyfriend says, and scoot yah little ass up out of here. I already shot Russell once.' He spoke threateningly, and I grimaced at the slight scent of Bourbon on his breath.

         'Leave him out of this!' Russell growled in angst, his voice sounding shallow and shaky.

          'Such bravery going around today.' Chibald chuckled menacingly.

          'Kai just go,' Russell warned, but I brushed him off.

          'You may be dangerous but I doubt your stupid.' I snapped, mustering up the all the confidence I could.

          'Are you done?' Chibald griped out, taking a threatening step towards me.

          'I'm waiting until you shoot me, but as I said. You're not stupid enough to shoot someone in Public.' I glared up at him, despite the jolting fear shooting through my body.

I was putting on a brave face, but deep down I felt like I could collapse. My knees shook, and my throat constricted marginally.

I was sure Russell was no coward. But brute force wasn't the way to handle these situations. You had to play smart if you wanted to end a threat, that threatened your life and that of your Family.

It was quite obvious that I cared about Russell. And I did care for Timothy even more, so I had to be smart about it.

           'I like this one Russell. He has some backbone.' Chibald looked away from me, then took a step toward Russell.

           'What's your Damage Chibald?' Russell asked in a heavy voice, glaring at Chibald.

           'Have my shit by tonight, or I won't just leave you with a gunshot wound this time. And I'll make sure that your pretty Boyfriend here joins you and your Son in matching graves,' Chibald's voice rung through, and he sounded serious about his threat. 'Eight o clock tonight. No later than that.'

Chibald turned away, his cronies following behind him. Leaving his words hanging in the wind. My fear had slowly dissolved, yet I grew more nervous about tonight. For I knew what could happen, if Russell didn't have Chibald's Gold.

          'You had to get involved didn't you?' Russell queried harshly, and I rose an eyebrow.

           'Well you obviously weren't gonna do anything about it.' I offered, glaring at him. 'Are you the one who has Chibald's gold?' I queried seriously and he shot me a dark glare.

            'Are you seriously asking me that question?' He asked, taking a step towards me. He was now hovering over me, and I grew even more nervous. For his anger flared off of him in waves.

           'Are you seriously gonna be able to get his Gold back by tonight? Why don't you just go to the police?' I shot at him, but he obviously refused to answer.

          'You just don't know how to keep your nose out of people's business, do you?.' He retorted a little too loudly. 'Just stay away from me and my Son,' he declared in a heavy, serious tone and I sighed heavily as he stormed off.

People had begun to stare, and I honestly had nothing more to say to him. Because his words were true. I couldn't help sticking my nose into the business of others. Because I cared about people, regardless if they wanted my help or not.


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