So chapter 6 is done. It is a little shorter than the rest of the chapters, only because this is where it gets serious. How is everyone enjoying the chapters so far? How did you all like that twist and cliffhanger at the end of chapter 5? Story isn’t over yet! Anyway, I have decided I am going to dedicate this novel to my aunt that is passing away when I publish it. On my off time, I’ve been struggling with this. Anyway, chapter 7 will be done early next week. Expect it to be longer because this is when everything starts to happen. Chapter 6 is kind of just the middle pulling it all together. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Please leave comments or like the blog page. You can even follow me here on my blog site if you like what you read. Otherwise stay tuned because the next few chapters you don’t want to miss! We will be coming to a close soon and I am going to publish it so be sure to look for it on the Amazon kindle (I will be sending out updates of when I’m finished with it.) Don’t worry we have a few more chapters yet! Enjoy reading!!
The jail cell is dirty and cold. There is one cot next to the wall that is harder than a rock, and cold to the touch. I have to pee, but I am not sitting on the crusty old toilet bowl in the cell, especially when there is no privacy.
I continue to watch the two detectives that brought me into the police station; they are talking frantically to someone on the phone only five feet away from me. I am scared; this must do something with my father. My father…My heart stops because I suddenly recognize the two detectives. I remember them like it was yesterday; it was ten years ago at the Perkins restaurant that I had seen them last. How could I forget?
“Miss Connor,” one of the detectives say to me once he has hung up the phone. “Your father has been looking for a long time for you. He will be pleased to see you again.”
“He’s in prison!” I spit out at him through the bars.
He takes a quick step backward, and then says with caution, “No…Not anymore. He is actually on his way here to pick you up.”
No, no, no, no. How can this be? My father was supposed to be in prison for life. What is happening? I feel my whole world being ripped out from underneath me, as well as all the air in my lungs.
I grip the bars in front of me and bow my head, trying to breathe. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. I remind myself with every breath of the next step. Once I’m calm enough to stand straight, I look around. Every cop in on duty seems to be in the office today; talking on phones, playing on the computers, chatting in the corner by the coffee machine. Why is no one fighting with these detectives? These cops know me, they know Aunt Bethany.
A bald middle-aged cop by the Name of Carl Sanders walks by my cell just then. I know him because he’s always Aunt Bethany’s partner on cases they have to solve together. I reach out to him suddenly.
Carl turns and looks at me surprised. “Hope, what are you doing?”
“Help me!” I whisper to him frantically. “You know this is wrong. You know me! You need to get me out of here!”
He looks hurt, then. Like I had just stolen his favorite puppy. “Hope…I…I can’t…I’m sorry.”
“What do you mean you can’t?”
“These detectives are the FBI from Chicago. We don’t have a say anymore. Therefore, there’s nothing I can do to help you. I’m sorry.” He continues walking away like our conversation never happened.
I hear the slamming of the double doors and look over to see none other than Angst Connor storming through the police station with two other detectives following behind him. My father. What is this madness? How can he be strolling in here like a free man after what he did to my mother ten years ago? Something doesn’t add up…
He looks the same as I remember him. Salt and pepper hair slicked back with tons of hair gel, wearing a grey business suit looking like he came straight from the court house. He walks up to my cell and stares at me with a big grin across his face. His beady eyes staring right into my soul burning a hole there. It is at this point I can see some of the old age wrinkles starting to form on his face.
He continues to stand there and stare at me, smiling for a moment. I take a step backward, my heart pounding wanting out of my chest.
“Hello, Destiny. It’s been a very long time, has it not?” Angst sneers with a smile still on his face.
I am frozen. It has been ten years since I went by that name. Destiny…I gasp.
“I am here to take you home. Where you belong.”
“I am home. This is where I belong,” I spit out in a defensive manner. I am beside myself at how confident I am standing up to my own father. This same man whom murdered my mother in front of my eyes and then tried to murder me as well. This same man whom is supposed to serve life in prison. This same very man whom is standing in front of me now…Ten years later.
“My, my, Destiny,” he says to me, shaking his head. “Have you forgotten where your roots lie? Chicago is your home. Not this tiny town in the middle of nowhere. Your home is with me, your father. We have so much time lost to catch up on. These detectives have been working around the clock for the last ten years trying to find you to bring you home to me. Where you belong!”
I jump when he says that last sentence. His voice is familiar, but so unfamiliar it startles me.
My cell door is opening, suddenly. Two men are stepping inside towards me. I am backing away frantically. Hands are all around me; all over me, pulling. Pulling me out of the cell. Handcuffing me. Dragging me out to the black Escalade my father apparently arrived in. I am stopped short right as the back door to the Escalade opens. My father is jumping in. I am being pulled again towards the vehicle, and I see my chance. I start to resist by pulling the other way, kicking and screaming. The two detectives that have a hold on me keep their firm grip and start dragging me even more.
“LET GO!” I am screaming, but no one is around that can help me. “HELP!”
“Shut her up, now!” I hear my father snap from the open door of the Escalade.
“HEL-“ I am on the ground, head hitting the cement hard. I can feel the wind being knocked out of me as well as the throbbing start on the side of my head. I close my eyes and concentrate on the pain. It is the only thing in this moment that lets me know I’m still alive.
“What did we tell you, you little bitch?” I hear one of the detectives hiss at me. It is in that moment I feel something hard hit me in the side knocking more air out of my lungs. A foot, I would assume, with a hard steeled-toe boot.
The pain hits my stomach and I must hold back tears and vomit. My eyes remain closed; squinted now from the pain.
“Get her up before we start to create a scene.” My father’s voice sounds far away, now. Almost like we are in a tunnel. Must be the pain in my head that is messing with the sound around me.
The sun is shining so I can see shadows behind my closed eyelids. Therefore, I can make out the shadows of the two detectives walking over me to pick me up off the ground. Right as I feel their hands grip both my wrists, I hear something. A familiar sound. A familiar voice.
“Don’t touch her!” The familiar voice says with clarity and confidence.
“Boy, you have no business being here. Would you like us to revoke your badge and gun?” One of the detectives say in response to the familiar voice as they pick me up off the ground.
I keep my eyes closed because I refuse to look at my reality around me. My life being ripped apart from where I stand.
“Oh, you mean this gun?” I open my eyes just then to see who that familiar voice belongs to. Jason is standing only a few feet in front of us looking exactly the same as earlier, holding a gun to the two detectives. “Now, I said to let her go!”
I see out of the corner of my eye my father descend from the vehicle and stand in front of us facing Jason.
“Ah, Mr. Steth. How are you on this fine day?” He asks Jason very calm-like. I can see the expression on Jason’s face is downright confusion. As it should be, because I have no idea why my father is being so…civil?
“Fine, and yourself?” Jason answers in a stern manner never once putting his gun down or breaking eye contact with anyone. He doesn’t even flinch. Damn, he’s good! I think I’m even deeper in love with him, now.
“Very good. You see, I think there’s been some sort of confusion, here. Why don’t you put your gun down so we can explain?” My father says acting very professional like he’s back in a court room again.
I’ve never witnessed my father at work. I’ve never witnessed him being civil with anyone. This is a complete new side that I am seeing. The professional one that says “this is just business”. Seeing this side of him makes me even more afraid of what is going to happen next…or at some point. I am more scared for Jason in this moment, though. He has no idea what my father is capable of or even who he is.
Jason doesn’t say anything; his poker face remains.
“You see, Mr. Steth, this girl you are risking your life to save,” my father points to me, “she isn’t the person you think she is or ever was for that matter. I am here to take her away back to where she came from. Now, it is in your best interest to put your gun away and walk away while I give you the chance. Think about it, you can’t take all of us.”
“You have no idea what I’m capable of,” Jason says as he turns the safety off on the gun. His finger already on the trigger as he points the gun at my father.
My father takes a step toward him laughing. I recognize that laugh. That is the laugh he used to make right before he would beat my mother; like he thought she was being ridiculous or something and he found it funny.
“Give up, son. You’re not going to win this fight.”
“I give up the moment you let her go,” Jason says, nodding toward me.
“Very well, have it your way. I warned you,” my father says as he pulls a gun out from his belt the same moment Jason fires his gun.
I watch in horror as my father stumbles backward a few steps and falls back. He is clutching his shoulder while the blood comes pouring out. Jason doesn’t miss a beat, though. As soon as my father hits the pavement, he is aiming his gun at the two detectives holding me, and he shoots them in the chest right before they have the time to think about grabbing their weapon. They both let go of me as soon as they are hit, and I am running again. Instead of running to Aunt Bethany’s house this time, I run for Jason. He is motioning for me to run across the street toward the only car parked there as soon as more police officers come barreling out of the police station to see what the commotion is all about.
A brand new black Dodge Charger is the car I’m sprinting to. When I reach it, the driver side window rolls down and Shayna is smiling up at me.
“Shayna?” I ask out of breath and surprised.
“Who else would come save your butt?” She says sarcastically. “Hurry, get in! It’s unlocked.”
I wait for Jason to reach me so he can open the car door for me. He opens the door to the backseat and waits for me to slide in, then slides in after me. The car is peeling away from the police station before Jason can shut the car door.
As soon as we are safely away from the police station, Jason grabs a bobby-pin off the floor board of the car, and unlocks the handcuffs from my wrists.
“Shayna, take us to my place,” Jason orders, never taking his eyes off me. He looks hurt; genuinely hurt. I know I have a lot of explaining to do, but I don’t know where to start or how to start.
Shayna doesn’t respond as she drives the car toward Jason’s house. I know she is ashamed in me as well, and I need to make it up to them. If it wasn’t for them, I would be on my way back to Chicago in cuffs to face whatever fate my father had in store for me. I am forever in their debt since they put their lives in danger for me without even knowing who I really am.
Minutes pass like this until we reach what seems to be Jason’s house. We are back in Arlington, parking in his driveway. I look out the window to look at his beautiful two-story house. There’s an indoor porch right out front going into the house. A white picket fence surrounds the yard; like every girl’s fantasy dream house. The house is a beautiful beige color. I’ve always dreamed of having a house like this someday. A two-car garage the same color as the house is what stops us from going any further into his driveway.
“I’ll go open the garage doors, Shayna. When I do, pull the car in. We want to keep it hidden for a while,” Jason says as he pulls his seatbelt off, and opens the car door to get out.
Shayna nods, no words which is unusual for her, and Jason slams the door behind him as he gets out of the car. We watch him walk up to the house and disappears inside of it. The awkwardness is tense in the car which makes me want to open the door and run away from all of this that much more. I can’t keep putting them in danger like this. It isn’t fair to them, but somehow, I stay glued to the car seat and wait for Jason to come back.
As directed, Shayna drives the car into the spacious garage as soon as Jason opens it. He is standing in the garage off to the side waiting for her to pull it inside and shut it off. Once inside, Jason shuts the garage door as soon as the car is clear of the door. Shayna shuts the car off and gets out of it, I follow suit. Jason doesn’t say a word, instead he motions for us to go inside the house. We do as directed. I follow Shayna out the side door of the garage to the front porch of the house. I can’t help but notice the lawn care done; very well maintained like seen on rich property. My breath is instantly taken away. He can’t possibly take care of all of this himself?
Shayna holds the door to the house open for me once we are inside the indoor porch. I walk into the house and am instantly taken back by how fancy the house looks. There is a spiral staircase in the middle of the walkway we are standing in, now. There are rooms on both sides of this area. The house looks very well kept, almost like he’s barely here. Which makes me wonder where else he would be…
“Upstairs,” is all Jason says as he walks in behind us and locks the doors.
There is no time to look around anymore than I just did as I’m being pushed toward the stairs by Shayna. I grip the railing tight and slowly make my way up the spiral staircase, trying to peak around at what I can see of the house which isn’t much. All I’m able to see is part of the kitchen which appears to be one of the rooms on the side, and the dining room which happens to be the room right across from the kitchen. The higher up we go, the less of the downstairs I can see. Once we reach the top, we are met with another room. The living room? There is a flat screen TV on the wall across from us, a stereo system with surround sound sitting on a shelf next to it. There is a two-piece black leather sectional couch that separates the stair case from the TV; a room divider. I notice the floor is polished wood and the walls are an off-white color, nothing hanging on the walls.
Shayna slips by me once we reach the top of the stairs and plops down onto the couch, waiting. I follow her assuming this is where Jason wanted us to sit. Jason appears at the top of the stairs seconds later, and follows us to the leather couch. He sits down next to me leaving a few inches in between us. Shayna is on the other side of me, eyeing me up and down also a few inches away from me. I suddenly feel like a disease in this house that nobody wants. I want to go home.
“Hope, I need you to be one hundred percent honest with us right now, OK?” Jason says at last, putting his head in his hands.
I hate seeing him hurt like this all because of me. I nod and wait for him to continue with the interrogation.
“Who was that man that I shot?” He asks quietly and as calm as possible.
I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I don’t open them as I respond with, “My father.”
“Your father?” Jason asks as if he doesn’t believe me.
I open my eyes this time and raise my voice a little bit. “Yes, my father. I haven’t seen him in ten years.”
“Did he abandon you or something?” Jason sneers. I hate his tone right now, but I know I’ve hurt him.
I don’t respond right away because I don’t want to be honest with him anymore. I’m scared.
“Hope, you need to tell me,” Jason says when he realizes I’ve clammed up.
I gulp down my tears and say, “Do you remember when I told you that my mother had died when I was a kid?”
“My father was the one that murdered her…right in front of my eyes. I was twelve…”
Shayna gasps. She covers her mouth once she realizes she made sound, her eyes wide and full to the brim with tears.
Jason sits all the way back against the couch cushion, his expression soft now. He feels bad.
“What does that have to do with him taking you away?”
“I’m originally from Chicago. After he murdered my mother, he came into my room and tried to kill me, too. I was smart, though. I had a pair of scissors and stabbed him in the neck…almost killed him. I moved in with Aunt Bethany afterward, and we moved out here to be protected…and safe…”
Jason shakes his head. “Hope, that still doesn’t explain anything to me…”
I put my hand on his lap to stop him from talking. “I lied to you, Jason. This whole time because I needed to be safe…”
“I don’t understand…”
“My name isn’t Hope, Jason. It’s Destiny. Destiny Hope Connor, a wanted woman in Chicago for the attempted murder of Angst Connor; the best defense lawyer in Chicago and my father. I am also considered a runaway fugitive, have been for the last ten years.”
Jason stands just then, putting his hands on the back of his neck, and walking away from me towards the TV.
He turns around slowly and stares at me. “Can’t they see it was self-defense?”
I shake my head. “No, because it wasn’t the police that issued those offenses. My father was. I was so surprised to see him here! He was supposed to be in prison for life. Being Chicago’s best lawyer its perks, I guess. He can do stuff like that. So many criminals walk the streets in Chicago because of him.”
“I can’t believe this.”
“YOU’RE A WANTED PERSON, HOPE!” Jason shouts suddenly, making me and Shayna jump a little in our seats. “There’s nothing I can do about it! Not to mention you lied to me instead of being honest with me in the beginning. Even when I told you that you could tell me everything. I wanted to know everything, Hope. I feel like I don’t even know who you are.”
“Jason, I’m sorry,” I choke out as the tears break free.
“Don’t. You’re lucky I came after you today, especially after leaving me speechless in the parking lot of the hospital. Do you have any idea how that felt? Watching them take you away like that, and knowing there was nothing I could do? It was like the biggest slap in the face you could’ve ever given me, Hope…sorry, Destiny, if that is even your real name I have no idea.” I instantly hate how he says my real name. It rolls of his tongue like it leaves a bad taste in his mouth. It makes me wince at the sound of it.
Jason starts to walk toward the stairs without even looking at me.
“Jason,” I plead trying to get him to stop and listen to me.
“You know what, Hope? I trusted you! I told you everything and things that I have never told anyone! For once, I thought I found a girl that was worth being with, but it turns out you’re just another girl,” he spits at me. “You can sleep in the guest bedroom for tonight. Shayna will show you where everything is. As of tomorrow…” He shakes his head like he can’t bear the thought running through his head right now. He descends the stairs two at a time. We hear a door slam shut downstairs moments later. I assume it was his bedroom door.
I look to Shayna whom is still wide eyed with shock at the confessions just made.
“Shayna, I’m sorry. You know me! You’ve worked with me for the last seven months! You’re my best friend…” I plead to her.
She closes her eyes like it hurts too much to look at me. I wait until she opens them again.
“You’re right, Hope. I do know you…or the person you were being…”
“I’ve been me this whole time, Shayna. Just a different name. You have to believe me!”
She puts a consoling hand on my shoulder to stop me from talking.
“I know. You must understand something…my brother doesn’t like breaking the law. He follows it pretty well. Do I believe he thinks you’re at fault? No. Do I think he is never going to speak to you again? No, you just have to give him time. This was a big blow to him, Hope. It was to all of us. He killed two men tonight because of you. FBI men to be exact. My brother has never pulled his gun on anyone before let alone shoot somebody with it. Do you have any idea what kind of trouble he is probably going to be in because of you? Just to learn the truth about you…I’m on your side, Hope. I believe your story. I’m sorry all of that happened to you and that your past is now catching up with you. Let my brother toss and turn over it tonight, OK? I’ll talk to him. I’m not letting him turn you in.”
“Thank you, Shayna.”
“I’m going to go to bed. I’m going to sleep on the couch downstairs tonight. Let me show you your bedroom.” Shayna gets up and I follow.
I follow her to a door off to the right side of the living area. She opens it and turns on the light to reveal a master bedroom with a king-sized bed, and walk in closet. Walls are white with beige color carpeting. There is a bathroom connected to this bedroom that I can see from the doorway. A full bathroom with a sink, toilet, shower and…is that a jacuzzi tub? I think I’m in love…no, I think it’s shock. I look at Shayna and she smiles and turns away toward the stairs.
“Oh, he may have told you it’s the guest bedroom, but it’s actually his bedroom he gave you for the night,” Shayna says before she starts to make her way down the stairs.
I stand in the doorway of the bedroom with that new piece of information, and ponder the idea of sleeping in Jason’s bed for the night. He really does care…even if I have hurt him deeply.