Chapter 5- Hell's Night
When Lovin arrived we played it off like nothing happened and that Rico just went to sleep. I later informed Wolf about what the real deal was and Rico was removed out of the house immediately. I heard while eavesdropping (ok I'm nosy, so what?) that they had Rico to the point where he was begging someone to just shoot him and take him out of his misery. He wish was granted because he's somewhere on the bottom of Canarsie Pier.
As for Aaron and myself, we soon became best friends. We were inseparable. It wasn't anything sexual, just acknowledgment that we had a lot in common. The improvement of our relationship made Lovin especially happy.
At the new revelation of our feelings for each other I expected the next 9 months that passed to be smooth as silk. But quite to the contrary, we were still playing that 'tag; your it' game. Where We'd break up, fight and then make up. The fights never came to throwing fists anymore, but they were still stressing. We just seemed to clash, and its weird because the same things that made us clash, are the same things that make the sex so good and the conversations so intense and the feeling in my gut so powerful. So we were pretty much in a lose/lose situation.
So its no big surprise that me and him were seriously clashing. This has been going on for three months, the longest we've ever gone and its looking like reconciliation is no where in sight.
'Briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinding Briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinding' screamed the warning bell. I shot up out of my bed automatically grabbed my peacemaker and ran down the stairs full throttle. I looked around and the place was in shambles. The place was just ruined.
'Where are the other guys' I thought. I ran back upstairs to the rooms to find everyone else, but no one was in their room. I ran to the last room, Lovin's. I kicked in the door and what I saw was enough to make me go on a blood bathe for those responsible.
All 6 of the men who were here to train with us, and become generals, were on the floor in a big heap, beaten so bad that I seriously wondered if they' were dead or alive. Lovin was standing up in front of them. I guess he was trying to protect them, but by the looks of it he was soon to join the heap from exhaustion.
"Lovin, what the fuck happened?" I whispered, shock taking my voice, as I locked us in the room.
I ran to him and he collapsed in my arms as soon as I reached him. FUCK, we couldn't stay here, but I couldn't drag all of them out to the cars. What if the guys who did this are here or on their way back? I gently laid Lovin on the bed and looked at my peacemaker. I checked the room to make sure it was secure.
'Gotta see bout these boys' I couldn't help to think.
I ran into the bathroom and got the first aide kit. I ran back in the room, locking the door behind me. Never leaving my gun out of arm reach, I cleaned and bandaged up the 7 men, taking extra care with my Lovin. They all were bruised up pretty bad, but no weapons were used, Thank God. I took the comforter off of everyone's bed and laid them on top of each other on the floor and laid them all down. I made sure they were all covered with a light sheet and all had their pillows. Then I slipped their guns under them, in case. If trouble were to rise again.
`Gotta secure the rest of the house,' I thought.
I walked out of the room, locking the men inside by themselves. I went to all the rooms again and closed them, locking all the windows and locking all the doors. I ran into my room and put a pair of pants and sneakers on. Fighting in boxers isn't good for the jugs. I walked deathly quiet down the stairs and one by one started locking off all the entrances. There was only one more room left, the conference room and I was getting a really bad vibe from it. I kicked the door in and saw the surprise of my life.
There was Aaron, perfectly unscathed. He was heading right for me and he didn't look like he was coming to console me. Aaron threw a punch and I knew that he was responsible for the heap of men upstairs. I started fighting with him with all my might, then I felt another set of hands on me. I looked around to see Wolf with his hand cocked back aiming for me. I stared at him in such shock that I couldn't seem to even move, that breathing alone seemed like mission impossible. Here was my...the one I turned...my dad trying to kill me. How does one even start to comprehend such tragedy?
A swift kick to my head brought me out of my daze, followed by Wolf trying to gun butt me. I shook out of it and I reluctantly fought them, but there was too many hands, too many feet, too many advantages that I didn't have. They soon were making a pillowcase out of me and I had no other source then to do what I dreaded. I grabbed my peacemaker that lay idly on the floor and shot two into Aaron's chest. It all went into slow motion. His body dropped back, his face scrunched in absolute pain. I looked at Wolf.
"What the fuck is going on here?" I screamed, my voice demanding a damn answer. Silence took over the room. Eyes staring at one another, searching. The hairs on my neck were standing up and my heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to come out of my chest. 'What the hell am I going to do' I couldn't help to think. I cant kill them. Not my dad, I lost one already and I just refused to lose another one. I looked at Lovin and tried to find his gently eyes that always seemed full of compassion, but they no longer were there. I searched for the love that was always in there, but before I could he reached for his gun and I made a deadly decision, for the both of us. I brought the gun up and shot him in the heart, I watched as his body flailed back by the impact.
"I have nothing without you." I said out loud, my whole body dropping at the finalization of my actions. I looked at my peacemaker, and took it to my heart and was about to let it rip when something or someone pulled my hand away. The gun still fired and like acid hit my shoulder. The blast knocked me to the floor and the burning seared into me as my eyes grew heavy.
"Wake up" I heard Lovin's voice.
I opened my eyes with a smile. I threw my arms around him and started to say "It was just a nightma..." I stopped at the sharp pain in my chest.
"Take it easy amour," Lovin said while he pulled me into his arms. I looked up at him feeling around. He looked like he was beaten the shit out of. Aaron and Wolf both had bandages wrapped around their chest and I realized so did I on my shoulder. I took off the bandage and saw a nasty ass burn on my shoulder that ached so bad, I looked around at everyone while I replaced the bandage and was totally confused.
"WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?" I screamed, struggling out of Lovin's protective grip that he had me in. I stood up way too fast and had to sit back down and was caught back up in Lovin's arms that refused to let me go.
"A test Rafael?" said Wolf who was looking at me like I was a bomb ready to explode. And I did!
"A TEST, A TEST, A TEST..." I screamed over and over again. I jumped up, ignoring Lovin's protest and started pacing back and forth. Utterly pissed off. "What kinda fucking test is that WOLF! Where I wake up to see the house in shambles? Everyone unconscious expect for Lovin whose playing bodyguard to the heap of bodies, and who, might I add, looked like one punch would do him in. To fucking find out that it was my dad and my best friend who did all that shit. Who beat the fuck out of me, who in the end I had to fucking kill! ARE YOU FUCKING SICK? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU. I WISH I DID FUCKING KILL YOU, YOU ASSHOLES!" I screamed. I paced and started to mumble about joining some convent or cult, and how I most likely am gonna die from a heart attack at the ripe age of 19.
"Calm down," Aaron said as he put a hand on me.
Lovin brushed it off immediately and gave him a look that was something awful. "Everyone upstairs," Lovin spoke in measured tones.
Ronnie, Dave, Patrice, Jorge, Gabari all went upstairs followed by the new addition, Damion, who'd taken Rico's place. The new tone and tension of the room stopped my incessant pacing. I knew Lovin was on the warpath. He screamed death. I looked at Aaron and could see pain in his eyes.
"Get back here," Wolf screamed; they looked back and forth at Lovin and Wolf. Weirdly enough they were both their bosses. They couldn't disobey Wolf, but neither could they disobey Lovin. So they stood there midway on the stairs.
"How could you do this to me?" Lovin said to Aaron in the same measured tone as before.
"Don't take it personal, it's just part of your training."
"Part of my training is getting beat down by my own fuckin brother?"
"You guys were getting sloppy, too comfortable, you have to be ready for everything," Wolf added in.
"Stay the fuck out of it!" Lovin screamed and went to threw a punch at Wolf that I in turn blocked.
I was just as pissed at Wolf as he was in Aaron but I still didn't want him to get hurt unnecessarily. Quite funny since I shot him a few hours ago.
"So you guys couldn't just tie us up and throw us somewhere?" I said bitterly, redirecting Lovin's stare back at them and not at me.
"Calm down" said a voice that I didn't know.
I looked to the side and saw 2 men. One I immediately recognized as Rot, the other I did not know, but Aaron and Lovin recognized him immediately. Lovin made a dash to him and was enveloped in his arms; I could already tell that the waterworks would start by the way he was trembling.
"UPSTAIRS NOW!" I screamed to the 6 men. Whatever was about to go down, didn't need them as witnesses.
They ran up the stairs in their room. I looked back and saw that Aaron was getting all misty eyes and I started to here the inevitable soft whimpering from Lovin. Now my curiosity was peaked.
"Ok can anyone tell me who the hell he is?" I asked, jealousy dripping off of my tongue.
"Dante," Aaron whispered.
The name sounded familiar, but I couldn't recall. I gave Aaron a confused look.
"Our elder brother Dante."
That's when the light bulb went on. So this is THEE Dante. I always knew that the three brothers were grossly tight. Always wanted to know the last part of their puzzle, and here he was. Standing 6'4, about the same size as Lovin and Aaron, bald headed, looking straight like a model. Unlike the others, he took more of his fathers ethnicity, black; then of their moms, Puerto Rican. He was deep chocolate and was just stunning.
He had Lovin cuddled up in his arms like a baby. I've never seen Lovin so emotional. Normally I was the waterworks. Lovin was always composed. The most I'd seen from him was a single tear and that was it. Now he was bawling like a baby.
Aaron took off running outside, towards the back and I took off after him. How could I stay mad at them? I'm so fucking happy that they were alive and that they didn't betray me that I couldn't be seriously pissed off. I found Aaron in the garden who was pulling a waterworks routine as well.
"Goddamn what the hell's gotten into you two?" I asked while I wrapped Aaron up in my arms.
"You should have saw his face when he saw it was me. He didn't even really fight me. He only blocked. I've never seen him look so sad in his life." Aaron stated between sobs. I just held onto him.
"I know what you mean. When I saw that Wolf was there. I was in such pain, such conflict. I didn't know whether to hit him or hug him, to kill him or myself, cause I couldn't live with such hurt. It was suffocating, so I just did both." I whispered while I held him tight.
"I'm sorry, but it was necessary." Wolf said, doing one of his infamous appear out of nowhere routines. Soon Wolf had both of us wrapped in his arms, trying to soothe us. When we finally calmed down we made it back to see the house that was in shambles all tidied up and a smell from the kitchen that reminded us that we were hungry.
"I think you two have some bridges to build back," I said to Wolf and Aaron who nodded and went up the steps.
I wandered into the living room, to find Lovin wrapped in a sheet on a couch sleeping. I walked over and knelt down beside the couch and watched him sleep for what seemed like a hot minute, but turned out to be an hour. Occasionally I moved loose strands of hair from his face. It was times like these when I cared for him the most.
"You're both insecure in a relationship. Which makes shit so hard for you both," said a familiar voice that could only be Rot's. I looked at him and saw him in a far off couch that was more so in the dark then the light.
"How long have you been there?" I asked, as I turned around leaning my back against the foot of the couch.
"Before you came."
"You could have said something."
"Oh and what miss you lovingly watch over something that you're letting slip from your fingers?" His raspy voice stated.
"Oh and how the hell would you know?" I asked not hiding the anger that was slowly rising.
"Wolf gives us reports about y'all progress. He also is always talking about his baby boy and what's going on with him. Not to mention that I was here when Lovin was confiding in Dante about what's been going on over here before 'hell's night.' And on both accounts its not him pushing you away, its you pushing him away," he said it all so matter a factly that I wanted to rip into him.
Before I had the chance, all 8 of the men came running down the steps, including Aaron and Wolf. I just stared at Rot and wish that I could tear him a new asshole.
"Time for him to wake," boomed Dante. I turned to Lovin and started to wake him.
"Where's Dante," was Lovin's first words as he woke up. His eyes fluttered around the room for his older brother, instead they steadied on Aaron who looked like he was gonna start to tear up again.
"Lovin and Aaron follow me," Dante said in a way that could not be misconstrued with as a request. They both followed him outside, Lovin making sure to keep a considerate amount of distance away from them.
The 6 men were all chatting amongst themselves playing a fierce game of cards. Bird and Wolf were in a long conversation catching up with each other. That left me alone on the couch to think, which wasn't a good thing.
Since I woke up I'd been too busy trying to comfort everyone else to deal with my own feelings and I'd pushed them away to help everyone else. But now all alone, the situation started to replay in my mind, plus the added salt to my wound that Rot threw at me.
I started to pace back and forth all over again, steaming. I worked myself in such a state that all I was seeing was red. I soon realized that the brothers were back and that the once extremely loud, live room, was deadly quiet, all eyes on me. All of them were wondering when the hell I was gonna blow. I just kept on pacing though, working myself up more and more.
In the corner of my eye, I saw Dante was about to make a move to talk to me, but Lovin quickly pulled him back. Instead Aaron did about the stupidest thing he ever did in his life. He touched my shoulder. HEY, even WOLF knows to leave me alone when I'm like this.
I spun around and punched him dead in his chest. The fight went in slow motion in my eyes. I could see every attack he presented, every opening he left. He got like 2 hits off of me, that I let him get because it presented a big opening for me to just bash the fuck out of him. I was unleashing all my pain out on him. Giving him the business, letting out all the shit. Hell's night, Lovin and just how I so wished I was off on a beach somewhere with a martini and some twink sucking on me.
All of a sudden I felt two unmistakable arms wrap around my arms and torso, holding me tightly against them. I struggled under his grip but he held on tight. I could get out of his hold and everyone knew it, but it would mean hurting him and I kept replaying Rot's words in my head.
I settled down, but that didn't loosen his grip; he knew me too well. He knew as soon as he let me go, I would have gone back to demolishing Aaron. I looked around and saw horror on everyone's face, like I was fuckin Freddie Kruger or something. I looked at Aaron who was now matching us with bruises and wounds everywhere. He was collapsed on the floor, resembling the heap of men earlier. Lovin picked me up with his arms still wrapped around my arms and torso and started to take me up the stairs. Everyone just moved out of his way, staring at me. When we got into his room, he slowly turned me around and looked at me.
"On any other circumstances I would have bodied you for that," He said watching my eyes, searching for something. It was deadly silent for a while, us just staring at each other.
"I don't like tests," I plainly stated.
"Yeah, well at least you passed it!"
"You did too, if you weren't there those men would've been done for, plus your the one who rang the bell and made sure someone was here to take up for you before passing out."
"Yeah, it wasn't nice waking up and not finding you there," he said in sorrow and I knew where he was directing the conversation to. I pulled him to the middle floor and laid him on my makeshift bed and pulled the sheets over us, snuggling close to him. His hand pulled me tighter, and his tense body relaxed.
"Sorry, I can take physical pain, you know that. I just can't take THAT kind of pain." I apologized.
"I have nothing without you," his voice cracked while repeating the last statement I'd made to another, before pulling the trigger.
"I hate you for that, you know that. I HATE YOU for that," his voice screamed out, but his arms pulled me even closer to him. His words and body contradicting each other. "Am I nothing to you Rafael, because this `nothing' has feelings as well. And contrary to your beliefs, there's only so much that I can take. I feel as if I'm a step away from just giving up. Cause I can't have a relationship with NOTHING." His words were measured, not filled with anger like before, but now with pain.
"You're not nothing...your a lot...I.um..I love you." I said saying those three words that I haven't said to anyone for years. And I meant them; I really meant them.
"You love me? You? Love me?" His voice boomed in a mocking tone, he started to repeat it over and over laughing, to the point where he was in hysterics.
I sat up looking at him, not finding my feelings funny.
Lovin all of a sudden stopped laughing abruptly and said, "Get the fuck out!"
"Wha...What?" I asked.
"You don't know what love is Rafael. You love me? You sure have a nice way of showing it. Get the fuck out! I don't deserve this shit, you don't deserve me!" He hissed, staring me in my eyes, without so much as I blink.
I got up slowly and walked out his room closing the door softly behind me. I walked down the stair all in measured steps. Wolf, Dante, Rot and Aaron was staring at me silently, I looked at the television before Wolf had a chance to change the channel. I was shocked to see Lovin in his room getting up, heading to the door. I didn't let that little spying revelation stop me though. I walked past them and headed outside. I jumped in Lovin's jeep and sped off. Aaron followed me out and he screamed to the other while he jumped in his jeep to follow me.
The best ways to release pent up emotions are fighting, fucking, running and riding. You cannot do any of those slowly or dispassionately. You do it fast, without thinking, just moving and the quicker you are, the more danger, the more shit you can work off. I started doing turns without letting up on the gas, not even recognizing the break. Grinding the hot roads at 95 mph and just loving it. I made a turn onto a dirt road that led up this huge dirt cliff, that Wolf took us too once or twice. I circled around and around, building up my courage and making sure that everyone made it to my little party.
When everyone parked themselves in the entrance of the dirt road, their attempt to keep me in, I smiled and screamed, "TIME TO HAVE FUN!"
I revved up the engine and headed straight to the cliff. I felt liberation, freedom, from doubt, and worry, run through me all at the same time. At the very last minute, I stomped on the break. I stopped and jumped out, and I was about 2 inches away from the edge.
I screamed at the top of my lungs joyfully. I jumped up and down trying to work out the adrenaline I was charged with. I even did a few back flips and cartwheels. I jumped up on the hood of the car and did a little victory dance and proceeded to start shadow boxing trying to work out the anger that was rising in me. 'Who the fuck does Lovin think he is' I wondered. Every swing slicing thru the air with such force that you could hear it.
I soon got tired of fighting the air, so I started to kick at the windshield of Lovin's beloved truck. I jumped down off the hood when the windshield was nicely decorating the seats. I started to punch and kick at all the other windows, but soon enough all the windows were knocked out. That left me to start pacing back and forth, forth; I couldn't have paced on the meager floor. I paced on the very hood of his car, making sure it was well dented.
Everything started to boil up in me again, but instead of anger it was pain; the pain of Lovin's words finally working their way through my thick skull. It was unbearable, suffocating pain that seemed to reach inside me and throw my heart in a blender. I dropped to my knees, facing the sunset and the vast pit that held nothing, the tears staining my face. I opened my arms so that the strong warm wind traveled along more of me. I was that pit, nothing special or good. I took lives, I spit on love. And I knew he was right; I didn't deserve Lovin.
I sat there until the sun went completely down. I jumped off of the hood and followed the lights of the jeeps that weren't too far, but not too close. I could only imagine what they all thought of me. If they'd locked me in an asylum, I wouldn't have been shocked. I stopped in front of the jeeps and strained my eyes to look for Wolf. I came up with Lovin and Rot in a jeep filled with all of the boys. And there was Aaron and Dante in their respective cars, everyone looking at me like I was an alien or something, but Wolf was nowhere to be found.
"Pop!" I screamed out, waiting for his head to pop out of someone's car. Needing him, needing his strength and the love he'd never denied me.
"He's not in the car, son," Rot said.
And that was the last straw. He hadn't even come to see if I was ok. I felt my heart building all its walls back up fast and stronger then before. I could feel the steel taking over the overwhelming feelings. I knew then I would never give my heart a chance to ever put me through this kind of killing pain again.
My physical appearance changed as well. I lost 10 pounds purposely, I started wearing only black, it just seemed to suit my mood and I let my hair grow out past my ears, it was now by my chin and could be brought back in a small pony tail.
The other kids of Ghost were here now. A small group of 30 kids. Each of the 6 generals got 5 kids to take care of, to mentor, to teach, to bond with for the next 2 months before we were relocated and were put on a mission. It was Lovin and my duty to know all their names, ages and complete backgrounds. To know their strengths and weaknesses; and to make sure that the generals were working them hard and doing their jobs. We had a certain standard that we had to be up to; we needed to be fierce.
That's when the name "Reaper" came about. The kids were honestly scared shitless of me, even the 15 kids that were from the 'Predators' who use to love me like no other were scared of me as well. One boy said that every time he looked at me he felt as if he was staring at death and it just seemed to stick. They loved Lovin and despised me, but I honestly didn't give a fuck. The most joy that I'd had since that night was when we got to go shopping so we didn't have to wear those pajama bottoms anymore! Thank God for jeans!
"Muerte," came a voice from behind me that was all too familiar.
I turned to look at Wolf. He'd left with Dante a week after the big night. Putting Aaron in charge of us.
"Si," I stared at him.
He walked over to me and sat down. "The call you Muerte, death, " he said, staring at me hard.
"Yeah, and the problem is?" I asked wanting to get back to meditating.
"I can see where they get that from, your eyes lack any life. You've let yourself die inside."
"Good, so you're talking to a ghost," I said playing on the gang's name.
"They went you out," I heard another voice.
Ahh, so Lovin has learned Wolf's trick of appearing out of nowhere. When was I going to learn?
"Out of what?" I stared at him.
"Ghost, no one trusts you," Lovin stated.
"I'll leave by sunset," I stated as I got up, not really fazed by the news.
"So easy to walk away from, huh?" Lovin asked, not hiding his disgust, getting up in my face.
I heard a branch break in the distance and with my peripheral vision, I caught movement in the trees. It only took me a second to realize that all 36 men were here hiding, they must have talked about this behind my back and they all wanted to see my reaction. Got to love the nosy.
"Extremely so," I said taking a step back.
Lovin on the other hands had other ideas. He was fuming and he was just looking for a reason to fight me. He kept jumping in my face, pushing me, provoking me. I looked at him and shook my head sadly.
"If this is what you want," I said as I threw my black leather trench coat to the side.
With that Lovin swung at me. He had improved from when we first met, but I had improved much more. All his punches and kicks never met their target. I didn't fight, I just moved.
"Fight me damn it!" Lovin screamed.
"I am, what do you call this?" I asked.
"No, you're not, that's dancing, not fighting." He was right of course.
"All right, if you wish," I said and started to fight back.
I went easy on him, not wanting to hurt him, but with my precautions, I left myself open for him to smack me. Its been so long since anyone has even gotten a shot off of me that, that it boiled my skin and in a matter of seconds I had him on his knees with my hands on his neck, getting ready to snap it. Luckily Wolf, who was trying to break up the fight, finally jumped on me. He was no match for me either and I threw him onto the floor, but his interference knocked me out of my zone.
Suddenly, I was aware that I'd just laid hands on Wolf and was about to kill Lovin. I looked up to see all the men out of the trees running for me. They grabbed me and roped my hands and feet to a chair inside the living room. They all migrated to sit and stand against the wall with the gang-Wolf, Bird, Rot, Dante, Lovin and Aaron-sitting in front of me.
All was so quiet you could hear a pin drop and all were keen on my next move.
"You spoke once of Love right Rafael, or should I now call you Reaper, death, Muerte which ones your favorite?" Lovin had a sound in his voice I'd never heard before.
"Call me whatever you want," I said not liking how this was going. He couldn't win physically, so now he has a new approach, mentally.
"Where is my son?" Wolf asked.
"Dead. Both of them," I stared at Wolf.
"Where's the man who was so afraid of love, but brave enough to face it?" Bird shot out.
"He drove off a cliff, didn't like prying eyes watching him on a television, couldn't stand laughter at the revelation of feelings," I spat out.
"What do you live for?" Aaron asked me, his words gentle like he was afraid to ask the question.
"Nothing," I forced out the truth. "I live for nothing."
"So you don't love me, son?" Wolf probed.
"You don't love me, Mi amor?" Lovin asked.
Mi amor. Flashes of all the time he called me that went thru my head. "Let me up," I struggled against my bonds; against my memories. "I said I'd leave, what do you want from me?"
"Yo lo necesito," Lovin said.
"I don't deserve you, remember?" I spat out like poison. I was finished with the interrogation. With a few pushes the weak rope broke. "I've had enough." I stared at them, everyone looking at me in awe.
"You can't stay here with the way you are now, but you can't leave knowing what you know." Lovin looked at me.
I finally had a good look at him. Weeks of sorrow were wearing him down.
"Oh really?" I said reaching for my peacemaker, but the room roared with metal being drawn out. I looked to see all 30 of the men were now aiming at me.
"Ah, so this is why the kiddies are here. To do your dirty work," I said a little amused. I pulled my gun out and I could see the tension in the room. The men waiting for Lovin to give them the sign.
"Don't do this," Wolf whimpered.
"Should have been a real bullet on Hell's night." I told him softly. "It would have been less painful." I said as I brought my gun up and took off the safety.
To Be Continued...
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