Chapter 13: Natural Born Killers
It was just us. Candace hadn’t returned and I hadn’t received the first text or call from her or my parents. I appreciated this because it gave us a chance to patch things up and get our relationship back on the right track. I learned a lot more about him and vice versa. Mostly about Ryan and Jada. They didn’t want any children and couldn’t have any if they wanted to. Jada suffered from an ectopic pregnancy when she was about my age. It resulted in her fallopian tube rupturing and now she has to live with only one which would possibly eliminate her chances of ever being fertile.
He hadn’t talked to his mother in over two years, ever since he left home and I really couldn’t say that I blamed him. The more he told me, the more I hated her. It would have seemed a little outrageous to hate someone that I had never met, but I couldn't stand the thought of someone hurting him.
He had never asked me about my family situation though, but I was all ears to hear everything about his. I felt like there was a huge possibility that we would be in this for the long run and I had to get more acquainted with all of the little details about his life. He told me what made him happy and what made him sad. We laughed about things we experienced in the past and we went back and forth about different songs and movies we liked. Hell, it almost felt like he was just my best friend and that was the beauty of it all. It became very clear that the bond we had was never meant to be broken, but we were still doing everything we could to make it stronger.
I stared up at the ceiling while I was nestled in his arms. The only thing I could do was tell myself over and over again that this was real. I was feeling positive emotions and it felt like I had learned to speak a second language. "I almost don't want to go back home," I said with a groan. "Well, you don't have a choice. You've got to graduate and then run off to live happily ever after with me," he said with a smile. He kissed the top of my head. As badly as I wanted to stay wrapped in our own little world, in a few days, we'd be back to that hell hole we called home and reality would set in again. I would probably spend the rest of my summer doing the same shit I always did. Just the thought of it was exhausting and I was actually terrified of sinking back into the same old bullshit that made me miserable.
"Have you thought about how Dean will react?" he said suddenly. I rolled over on my stomach and stared at him, trying to look as serious as possible. "Why have you been so worried about how Dean will react? He doesn't bother me anymore. The fucker knows better," I said with a smirk. His expression turned cold and his eyes locked with mine. "It's not him that I'm worried about." He had lost me. Surely he couldn't think that I still had feelings for him. "There's no way in hell that I still have any feelings left for him," I said quickly. "That may be true, but I don't think you know how bad my temper can get. Mine or Ryan's. I can be more on the softer and more reasonable side. Ryan is a killer," he replied. I raised one eyebrow, still not following him. Before I could even open my mouth to get him to go into detail, he flipped me over on my back, pinning my arms down on the bed. "I'm trying to say that between the two of us, I might spare his life. My brother is actually a killer. If I come out shooting, he's coming out, no questions asked." He stared coldly into my eyes and it actually scared me for a second. "I can be VERY protective and so can he. Ryan is the only person I've ever had to cover my ass if I ever needed him to. We've only ever had each other to look out for." I was beginning to panic. "Alright, loosen your grip," I said slowly, "and please tell me that you two haven't went on any murder sprees?" He might have thought that I was trying to make light of the situation by cracking jokes, but I was dead serious.
"No. Not at all. We've been in more fights than I can remember, but we've never killed anybody. Ryan almost did one time, but it was Jada's dad, so he let him live. Those two fuckers are a little more on the Mickey and Mallory Knox side. If he moves, she moves. They've raised more hell than Ryan and I ever have. Don't piss either of them off after they've had a few drinks in their systems. Jada may be a bitch at times, but I know she has Ryan's back. That's one good thing I can say about her. She's always protected me and my brother even though she and I fight like cats and dogs."
I sat up on my elbows and stared at him, wanting him to go into detail. "Jada was young when Ryan found her. She had to have been sixteen and I mean, he literally found her. She would spend her nights hopping from couch to couch. Her dad was a drunk and would beat the shit out of her. Her mom was a pill head. There were plenty of times that she would use her just so she could get high. She tried so many times to get her to sleep with different dealers every other day, I don't know if she ever did or not, but she would beat her ass too. I know for a fact that she would send her out on dates," he used air quotations when he said dates, "and Jada's job would be to distract them long enough for them to get fucked up and she would rob them. She got a few of those gross bastards that were loaded. None of them ever got the chance to hurt her though. She's always been able to hold her own for as long as I've known her."
Fuck. I thought my life had been rough.
"Sometimes that's the only way she would eat. Sometimes they would think that she gave them the time of their lives and they basically became her regulars. She had no choice but to do what her mom wanted, or she would have been completely homeless." My mouth was hanging open from the shock. "That's horrible!" I shouted.
"How did Ryan find her?" I asked, hoping to hear the happy ending. "One night, she was walking in the rain. Her eyes were black and blue and nearly swollen shut. She was pretty much stumbling around in the dark. He was freaked out and had the feeling that she was in trouble and he just couldn't bring himself to leave her alone and mind his own business. He tried to take her home, but she threw a fit and threatened to jump out of a moving vehicle. He let her go, but when he ran into her again, she was trying to haul ass away from her dad. He tried to rape her that night." I could tell that it wasn't easy for him to say those words. They cut me deep and I didn't even know Jada all that well.
"So instead of Ryan walking away, he confronted him?" I asked. He nodded his head. "Yeah and he nearly killed him. He wanted to go after her mom too and he didn't give a shit that she was a woman." The story was horrifying and I found myself panicking a little on the inside. I wouldn't know what to do in that kind of situation. Once again, it was becoming pretty clear that everyone had issues way worse than mine. I just wanted to be a rebel and run away from the petty bullshit that went on in my family. Even though my parents let their secrets control our relationship, it still didn't compare to what went on with Danny and his family.
"Things were rocky at first. When I came along, everyone thought for a while that I was the one chasing after her. She's only a year older than me, but there's a five year age difference between her and Ryan. I'm only twenty, but he's twenty-six." Shit, I was way off. The way they lived and kept to themselves had me thinking they were coming up on their thirties. It was hard to guess how old people were back home. Half of them were on drugs and looked like death warmed over and the other half kept to themselves, so you never saw them. I never really knew for sure unless they had been in the same classes with me since kindergarten. It was very rare that you would find people that stayed out of the way and minded their business. You knew nothing about them and they were smart.
"I bet everyone had a field day with that," I said, trying to lighten the conversation. "Yeah. There for a while we just let everyone think that. It wasn't like Jada was very social. She never really came out of the house back then. Especially since her parents were always trying to get back to her and she had random perverts that knew her mom trying to go out with her again. The truth about her and Ryan didn't really come out until they lost their baby," he said with a shrug. "Well, what ever happened to her parents? Did they try to get Ryan caught up in some shit?" I asked. By this point, I was completely locked into the conversation, secretly cheering for her on the inside. "Nope. Her mom overdosed on her eighteenth birthday and her dad disappeared without a trace. My guess is that the sorry son of a bitch got his ass killed by someone who had nothing to lose." The story had a happy ending after all.
"Ryan has always been the one that got hit with the harsh realities of life. He was so cold for as long as I could remember. When they found each other, I saw a completely different side of my brother. He's got a good heart with good intentions, but he's always been like a beast. He'd cut anyone's throat to save the ones that he loves. Jada is the only female I've ever known that's been able to tame him and soften his heart. I'm glad he found her. They were like us, wanting to love and be loved by somebody."
Now I understood why Jada was the person that she was. She never had much of a family and she found that in Danny and Ryan. I would be a protective bitch too if I had a history like that. She was abrasive, but she only acted that way to protect herself.
Danny sat up and grabbed my hand. "She means well, she really does. I won't lie, sometimes I can't stand her ass and she can be as evil as they come, but she's afraid of anyone getting close to me that could possibly hurt me," he said calmly. I chuckled. "No one could hurt you. They wouldn't dare," I said, trying to pump up his ego. "Yeah right," he scoffed. I got the feeling that he could tell that I was joking. I was kind of, but I had never known anyone that would challenge him or his brother. They had a pretty bad ass reputation back home. "I'm serious!" I yelled with a wide smile on my face. "She and Ryan and everyone else in the County knows that there's only one person that could ever hurt me," he started. I scooted closer to him in anticipation, almost ready to hunt down who that might be. I inched my face a little closer to his, still waiting for him to give me a name. He turned and those gray eyes burned deeply into my soul. "You."
My eyes grew wide and I was even more shocked now than I was during the story. "Me?" I asked, placing a hand on my chest. "Yes. You," he said with a smirk. We both knew that there was no way in hell I would ever do that to him. I was even afraid of hurting him. That was the only reason why it took so long for our relationship to take off. "You may not think you're much, but you have my heart. I've never trusted a soul with my heart," he said with a sigh. "I'm sure you've had a few before me," I uttered, holding back laughter. "Well, I've had a few lays here and there, but never someone I would ever want to spend the rest of my life with."
I froze. He tightened his grip on my hand and planted a kiss on my cheek. "It's only you. It's always been you and I've been so terrified to admit that to myself for the past year." I was still in disbelief that someone would find me the least bit attractive, much less want to spend the rest of their life with me. I was a mess and some days I felt like I was never going to get out of being stuck in my teenage ways. The life I was living before Danny came back around was one that I desperately wanted to get away from, but it was what I was used to and I never knew if I would be able to shake it off. "You're pretty fucking amazing, Syd. Whether you believe it or not, I love you and I've always loved you. I haven't been able to get you out of my mind since the night we met. That damn temper of yours sent me over the edge and my brain has been fucking scrambled ever since."
My eyes burned from tears threatening to spill over. It didn't happen right away, but I was beginning to feel better about myself. A healthy relationship was completely foreign to me and I was taken by surprise when I began to think of myself as more than what Dean always told me I was.
"I'm serious. When we get back home, it's all about us. I don't have eyes for anyone else and I'm in if you're in," he said, pulling my body into his to lay back down on the bed. My lips met his as we tangled our bodies around one another. Neither of us could hold back our smiles and cheerful giggles as we got lost in our own world once again with the heavy atmosphere being lifted. I playfully pushed him over on his back, pinning his arms down on the bed like he did to me just a few moments ago. A much bigger smile spread across my face. I lowered my face down to his with our noses nearly touching and I gave him a peck on his lips, sealing the deal. "I'm in."