Chapter 10

"She wants to speak to you."

"Me?"

"Yeah. Avarice won't talk to any of the SOS agents. She asked specifically for you."

Denny is walking me to a secret room in the agency. Truthfully I feel heavy today. I've been avoiding Urge which was easy because he's been helping Ego with his recuperation. It's not every day someone found out your fiancÚ was related to you. The turning feeling that I have in my stomach isn't just because Urge was supposedly my brother. It made me sick because I found out that Tom was my father.

Tom.

I hate the idea of it.

"I don't know what to say to her," I explain to Denny.

"Avarice has information that we need. Just see if she opens up. Everything is going to be recorded. Just keep her talking."

"I'm not in the best mood Denny."

"I heard what happened. I heard you found out about Urge."

Denny bringing this up hurts. I haven't known what to think about it. Sometimes I feel like the rumor is spreading and soon Urge is going to find out about it. I have to tell Urge myself but it's difficult. I've never known a love like Urge before and I don't think I ever would.

"I don't know what to do," I tell Denny.

I don't know why I'm confiding in him. I'm so desperate right now that I'd just about confide in anyone except for Urge. I've never been so confused in my life.

Denny smiles at me, "You're strong, Desire. You'll get through this."

"Maybe Mr. Steele is wrong about Urge and I."

"Our intelligence states..."

"I don't care about your intelligence states. I'm telling you your intelligence is wrong. I don't trust Steele," I respond.

Denny puts his hands on his chin, "You think he's a double agent?"

"You said yourself that Avarice knew about our missions and tried to sabotage us. Steele also went out of his way to make sure that I didn't know the truth about my mother. Also since he told me about Urge, I feel like I'm being followed."

It's happened everywhere. Eyes were watching me. Cameras turned in the neighborhood when I walked. I wasn't paranoid. I was a trained assassin. I knew when someone was watching me.

"Why would Steele watch you? What would he be scared of? C`mon Desire. I get you don't want this whole thing with Urge to be true...but Steele being a double agent? Really?"

"Denny this is serious!"

"I'm not doubting you. Ego seems to me more like the double agent. Steele is the top man here. It's just hard to believe," Denny responds raising his eyebrows looking confused.

I can tell Denny doesn't believe me. I can tell he thinks I'm probably full of shit. I'm not, though.

"Did Steele want my team, Denny?"

"What?"

"Did Steele want us working for SOS?"

Denny shakes his head, "No. Ego pushed for it because of his relationship with Urge and I pushed for it because of my relationship with you. SOS was falling apart and Steele was stubborn. We told him that this was how we can turn things around and stop the Assembly. He fought it. We had to go to the board members to have you guys brought it. He was pissed we went above his head. Steele was against your team the whole time."

It all made sense now. Ego and Denny were our supporters. Steele was the one who didn't want us joining. We were too smart. We were too strong. He was afraid we'd figure things out and go against him.

"You said so yourself you think SOS is compromised. What if Steele is a double agent? What if he is working with my mother? My mother knew who my father was and Steele knew. How did Steele even find out?"

Denny shrugs, "I'm not sure. He just said he had the intel."

"Or maybe my mother told him what to say."

Denny's face isn't in such disbelief anymore. I can see it on his face. He's suspicious and I know it. Ego couldn't have been working with my mother. After seeing how she took out his eye and ate it I knew that Ego couldn't have been a double agent. No one would sacrifice their eye. It had to be Mr. Steele. And if it was Mr. Steele we were all in deep shit.

"You have to be careful," Denny tells me, "I'm not saying it is Steele but if it is...we're fucked..."

"I'll be careful."

"Seriously. Look at me. Promise. Be careful what you say and who you say it too. Steele has this whole town wired...including your house."

"He wired my house?"

Denny nods, "I shouldn't have told you that, but just be safe OK and let me know if you need anything."

"There is one thing I need."

"Name it."

"When we first joined the SOS we took a few tests to monitor our health. I'm sure you guys still have some blood leftover. I was wondering something. Does the SOS do DNA tests?" I ask.

~

The room I walk in to meet Avarice is definitely a high-end interrogation room. It's hard to focus on work especially with my suspicions of Steele and even my fear of being related to Urge. I go in the room and I just feel so distracted. Avarice is tied up to a chair. She watches me as I enter the room. She isn't the young firecracker girl that I knew before. Avarice is a killer. Her eyes say it all.

"Good afternoon Desire," she tells me.

Her voice is slick and slithers out of her mouth like the black hair tappered to her face by sweat and blood. I sit across from her. Her eyes are piercing into me.

"You asked for me."

"I wanted to offer you a deal. I'll give you something you want and you give me something I want."

"The only thing I want is to know where my mother is."

"I'll show you."

"Are you serious?" I ask.

That was way too easy.

"Of course. Break me out of here. We'll join your mother and you'll be able to fulfill your true potential. You are an assassin Desire. You aren't an agent. Killing is what you were made to do."

Hearing Avarice say this to me sends shivers down my spine. I always felt bad for Urge because I felt like he was born in this lifestyle. I felt lucky because I knew a life outside of killing. I had a regular childhood. I had a regular family. Little did I know my mother was just as bad.

"Not even Tom was a cannibal. You support my mother? You willingly joined her?"

Avarice shrugs, "I used to be like you. When I was kidnapped I hated Tom. I hated the Assembly. Why did they do this to me? See all my life I had been victimized. I was molested by an Uncle at 8. I was raped at 12. I was assaulted at 15. So when I was kidnapped I figured it couldn't have been so bad. This was just a highlight of all my misadventures. I was wrong. Tom taught me how to take that anger and resentment and use it to my benefit. The Assembly taught me how to never become a victim again. So even now as I sit in this chair tied up I'm not afraid. I know that I am a powerful woman and they tie me up because they are afraid. Being feared is the most empowering thing in the world Desire. Have you ever been feared? Truly feared. It's addictive to feel powerful."

"No amount of power would make me willingly want to join the Assembly especially when you no longer have to be in it."

"What were we supposed to do? After you and your brother killed Tom what were the rest of us supposed to do? All we knew was killing. Tom gave us an outlet to be what we wanted to be. He gave us an outlet to be happy."

I felt bad for Avarice. I pitied her. I could see how she could be so misguided. It wasn't so far fetched in this lifestyle. At some point, she had to accept her new life in order to survive.

"When an animal is set free sometimes they just want to go back into captivity," I explain, "But that need for you to go back into the captivity of your oppressors it's crazy Avarice. I'm sorry."

"We are all a little crazy. Who are you to judge me?" Avarice asks me, "I am a killer. So are you. Just because you fell in love with your brother and moved to the woods doesn't make you any better than me."

"He is NOT my brother. He is my boyfriend."

"He is YOUR BROTHER!" she barks out across the room, "You enjoy sucking your brother's dick? Don't you. I know it. You enjoy bending over to your brother. You enjoy trading semen with your brother. What's it taste like? Does it taste like yours? It should since you guys have the same DNA. You love it. And you want to call me sick for supporting your mother."

"Fuck you and fuck her."

"Your mother was right about you. You are ignorant. You refuse to see the truth even if it slaps you in the face. You are willingly ignorant. Your fiancÚ is your brother and you are your mother's son."

"I don't eat people."

"No one's perfect but these men in suits aren't your people. You belong with us. You are part of the Assembly. You know it and I know it. I can see the killer in your eyes Desire. I can see the blood lust. I can see the hunger."

"Shut up."

"It's time you became yourself Desire."

She is laughing.

"Shut up..."

"Let go of this dream to be normal and accept it. You are the son of Tom and Ignorance. There is no good in you."

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

I don't know what gets over me but I lash out. My nails slash right through Avarice's cheek like sharp razor blades. I jump on her lap, push over the chair and start wailing at her. Hit after hit causes blood to gush out of her face.

The SOS agents run into the room. They've been listening on the monitors. They pull me off of Avarice. They pull me away from her but I can see the way Denny looks at me. For that moment I can tell my friend doesn't even really recognize me.

He looks at me and he can't see the person I've become.

~

I arrive back at the house. I'm confused when I see Urge's car out front. He hasn't been home in a while. Urge isn't the only ond here either. I can tell.

"What's up buddy?" Craving asks.

Craving is here. He must have run to the door. His heavy muscular and beefy arms hold me for a second giving me a tight bear hug.

"What are you doing here?"

"Your fiancÚ invited us all over. He said he had to make some sort of announcement or something. He also said he's cooking."

"Urge is cooking?"

Since when did Urge cook?

"I know right. I made sure I have Poison Control on speed dial."

Craving laughs. I don't laugh back at him. Truthfully things are really bad. I can hear conversation in the dining room. It seems like they are waiting for me. I'm a little nervous to see Urge again after what I know.

"Ok..." I respond.

"You OK?"

"Yeah. Why you ask?"

"Because you are my best friend and I know you. You normally would be excited when your anti-social fiancÚ took the time to set up a dinner party. Isn't that like your perfect scenario of a house husband? Right now you aren't even reacting. Seems like you have something on your mind."

Craving is right. I can't get Avarice's words out of my head. Did I enjoy having sex with my brother this whole time? Maybe I was sick and twisted just like my mother. Maybe I was perverted just like she was. Still. I don't know for sure if Urge is my brother. I don't know anything for sure. Right now I just have to play it cool.

I fake a smile.

"Just the whole thing about my mother," I respond.

It's kind of true. If I lied Craving would be able to tell. I knew I had to tell a half truth. Craving puts his arm over my shoulder.

"Cheer up buddy. Everything is going to be OK."

He tries to cheer me up and change the mood telling me about this SOS agent that gave him head as we walk into the dining room. We get in the dining room and see Love and Allure. They are sitting drinking wine at the table. Allure gets up to give me a hug. Love just rolls his eyes. It's clear there is some serious tension between the two of us still but I'm glad he showed up.

"Hey Love," I smile at him.

"Humph," he rolls his eyes at me and turns to his ex, "Craving are you really going to sit over there? Why don't you sit next to me?"

Craving was taking a seat next to me. I want to actually laugh at how petty Love was right now. If he really thought that I wanted to be with Craving he definitely was misinformed. I don't expect anything less from Love at this point, though.

Craving seems confused but he takes his ass over to sit next to Love.

"So how is it going?" Allure asks me, "Any more family drama Desire?"

"Family drama?"

They are all staring at me. My heart beats so hard. Do they know? Could they know that Urge was my brother. I look over in the kitchen. I can hear Urge getting everything ready. How would I be able to face him?

"Yeah. With your mom."

"Oh...oh sorry. Um. None. I met with Avarice but it was really uneventful. She didn't give me anything that we could really use to find Ignorance."

"Don't worry. We'll find her."

"And we'll rip her head off," someone says.

I turn at that moment and notice Ego! He's up and walking. He's actually helping Urge bring out plates. Urge is actually smiling as well. They looked like they were actually having a good time talking in the kitchen and preparing the food. Ego has an eyepatch over his left eye but it doesn't seem to be affecting his mobility.

"Ya'll are awfully smiley in that kitchen," Craving states.

Craving has a point. Urge was laughing about something in the kitchen with Ego. They were joking around about something. I fight off the instinct to not trust Ego's intentions. After Vegas I can't be stupid. I know what Craving is trying to do. He's trying to be a friend. Right now I don't need him to be a friend in that way though. Right now I need him to shut the hell up because I still feel like shit about how I was treating Ego.

I kick Craving underneath the table to tell him to shut up.

"Ego, you look good...thank goodness I was worried," I state, changing the subject so that things aren't awkward.

He does look good. You would think an eyepatch would make this fucking guy any less sexy. I was wrong. It looks like he is wearing the fucking thing on purpose. You would think Ego would thank me and say something humble but by the time he replies I know that I'm wrong.

"I'm tougher than that," Ego responds, "Plus I think the eyepatch is kind of sexy. It gives me character."

"I wanted to apologize," I tell Ego, "In front of everyone here."

Ego smiles at me.

"What for?" he asks.

"The fact that my mother ate your eye," I respond and shrug, "Also my behavior. Listen. To be honest I was completely jealous of you."

"You were jealous of me?" Ego asks.

Everyone is looking at me. This is embarrassing but he deserves this apology. I need to be the bigger man in front of the whole team.

"Big time," I respond, "You were beautiful. Hell, you still are. I wasn't used to Urge being friends with anyone let alone someone that looked like you. You guys almost look like you would be a couple. Like you're some models."

"Thanks for making the rest of us look like shit," Craving adds.

Craving and Love were good looking guys. Craving was attractive in his own way and Love was cute for a little small guy. They weren't perfect though. Urge and Ego had this bewitching handsomeness about them. They were the kind of guys who walk in a room and people got quiet. They were the kind of guys you stroll through their social media pics and can't help but to wonder how someone could be so perfect.

"You know it's the truth. I was intimidated. Truthfully it made me nervous. I want to let you know that this is NEVER ever going to happen again. It was my own insecurity. I thought you were up to something like you were trying to steal him away or something."

Ego's eyes get wide.

"No. Absolutely not. Let me make this clear," Ego laughs, "Me and Urge are friends. We're buddies. We go way back. Plus he loves you unconditionally. He spent the week talking about no one else but you and how much he cares about you..."

"Ok, ok, enough. You're embarrassing me," Urge shuts him up.

"Am I lying?" Ego asks him.

Urge laughs. He sits down quietly next to me. He kisses me on my cheek, "It's all true. You are the person I want to spend the rest of my life with Desire. I'd never cheat on you. I would never even think about it. You are everything that I want. And I want my friend to know about it as well as all of yours."

Urge pulls me in close. He starts kissing me. There is so much passion. It was impossible that we could be related with the way he was kissing me. Brothers don't have this kind of chemistry. There was no way in hell. His lips pressed up against me. His tongue was down my throat. I forget where I am. I think Urge forgets where he is too. He's leaning over on my chair. He's tonguing me down. Somehow my leg ends up on his thigh and I feel just how excited I am. I know what this means. He misses me and we'd be having marathon sex tonight.

"Ok. Ok guys. Save the softcore porn for dessert," Craving butts in.

"I think it's cute..." Allure says.

Love rolls his eyes at Allure, "Girl, are you crying?"

Allure was crying. She always liked to think she was tough but I knew there were parts of Allure that wanted her own relationship if only she was willing to go out there and not intimidate the fuck out of every man that crosses her path.

She quickly wipes the tears out of her eyes, "No! I mean yeah. Whatever. It's this food. It's awful."

"I never said I could cook," Urge responds, "That's my husband's field."

They laugh. No one seems to notice Urge's slip up. Did he just call me his husband already?

I look around the table. I'm happy at that moment. All my friends are here and we are laughing. Urge's meal was horrible but it didn't matter. He tried. He was trying to bring us all together not because he was the most social person in the world but he knows that this is what I want.

There is a ring at the doorbell.

"I'll get it."

"Hurry back babe. I'm making my announcement soon," Urge states.

He slaps me on my butt and smiles. Urge is smiling. I love how he watches me as I walk away. There is so much love in his eyes. It's so rare. His beautiful blue eyes are even smiling. He's happy. He's actually excited about something and I know what he is going to announce to everyone.

And I'm excited too.

I head to the door and open it up. It's a team. I know by their suits that they are SOS members.

"Delivery by the medical division," they state.

That is all they tell me before handing me an envelope. I look at the envelope and I can tell what it is by how heavy it is. I stand in the hallway and review it. Sure enough, it is the DNA tests that I ordered in the medical labs. After Denny told me I could have the DNA tests done I went personally down to the medical office and made sure that I got it ordered. I wanted to make sure no one messed with these tests. I wanted to make sure they were accurate.

I look over the results a few times.

"Baby! Where are you?" Urge asks.

"You better hurry up before Urge brings out his guns. I've never seen him this excited. I'm getting a little nervous," Ego states.

I walk back to the dining room and sit at the table. I'm staring out. Urge gives me another kiss on my cheek and passes the wine to make sure everyone has their glasses full. Then he stands up. This was unusual for Urge. He didn't do public speaking. Hell, he didn't do much any speaking at all to people.

"As you all know Desire and I are getting married. Well, I wanted to also let you know that we are going to speed up the wedding."

Allure smiles. Hell, even Love seems to let down his guard at that moment.

"Seriously?" Love asks smiling.

"Oh my good. When?" Allure asks.

"This weekend."

"Wait. That seems a little fast," Craving says, "What's the rush?"

"I love him. I want him to be my husband. That's what the rush is," Urge confidently tells Craving, challenging him almost immediately.

"Desire you sure you ready?" Craving asks me.

"No. I'm not."

Urge stops talking. I drop the envelope on the table.

"We are related..." I state.

Urge seems confused. He grabs the papers off of the table. He stares at them for a minute. His expression says it all. He is shocked. The room gets quiet.

"This has to be fake," Urge says dropping the papers on the table before looking at me, "Why are you doing this Desire? Why did you show me it?"

"I'm Tom's son just like you."

"This is bullshit!" Urge screams throwing the papers on the table. The others damn near huddle around the papers in silence attempting to see what the papers are saying.

"This test is legit," Allure states so low it's almost in a whisper. I know why. She's embarrassed for me.

"You guys are brothers," Love states with a shocked look.

Urge sits in his chair. He's staring at the table. He's thinking. I don't understand his reaction but I know it's deep.

Craving's reaction says it the most, "Holy Fuck. Desire you realize you have to cancel this wedding right? Urge is your brother. Desire...are you listening?"

I'm listening. I don't know what to do. Urge has withdrawn into himself. He is shutting down. Craving might have a point but it's a point that none of us want to face.

"Let's give them a minute of privacy," Ego suggests, "I think they have a lot to discuss."

"I'll walk you guys out," I state.

I start letting everyone out. Urge is too withdrawn to do it. He hasn't said a word. I'm a little scared. There is a huge shadow over him. Love and Allure are suddenly silent. They have nothing to say. When Craving turns to me I can almost tell they agree with what he's saying.

"You can't marry your brother. I don't know if I can support that," Craving tells me, "I don't want you to regret this Desire..."

"They will figure it out," Ego states, "It's none of our business."

"I'm NOT letting this shit happen!" Craving screams at Ego, "He's my bestfriend. I don't care if it's my business or not."

I don't know how to respond. Luckily Love grabs Craving up, "Come on Craving."

Craving looks emotional. I understand why he thinks it's a bad idea. I don't know what to do. I don't know what Urge wants to do. This was going to be the most awkward conversation. The others leave and Ego is standing there still at the doorway.

"Thank you," I tell Ego.

"For what?" he asks me.

"For having my back. For giving me space to figure this thing out with Urge."

Ego smiles, "Don't thank me."

I smile, "I was wrong about you."

"No. You were right about me..."

I pause.

Did I hear that right?

Ego isn't even looking at me. He's staring out at his watch, then at his phone then around the neighborhood like his comment was nothing.

"Excuse me."

Ego smiles at that moment, "When I said don't thank me. I meant seriously. Don't thank me. This is the best news I've heard all day. You and Urge are brothers. You know what that means? You and Urge are going to break up. And I'm going to take your man Desire. So go take your time. Take all the time you need to end things with Urge. There's no way it'll work now. Moving forward Urge is mine..."

To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com