CHAPTER SIXTEEN

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Brooke waited for the trunk to be opened but that never happened. The car was restarted after a few scary minutes. Brooke sat up, leaning against the side of the car.

Sometime later, the car stopped again. The trunk was opened and her blindfold ripped off by a burly man with an eye patch. Brooke shuddered when she looked at where she'd been seated. She shuddered when she saw fresh blood right next to her feet. The man lifted her out roughly, dumping her on the grassy ground. She hit her side and felt a shot of pain.

They were in the yard of an average sized bungalow surrounded by a long wall fence. Jason and Ray were leaning against a car, smoking quietly, as if waiting for something. Just then, the gate opened and another car was ushered in. Brooke's eyes went wide when she saw Marlon step out of the car. She was about to think he'd come to get her when a small child was removed from the back seat. Marlon glanced at her. Their eyes met for a second but his face remained expressionless.

The little girl looked very weak like she hadn't had a proper meal in ages. Her beautiful face was stained with dried tears. That little girl was her Diamond, she could feel it. As soon as she was placed down, she tried to run since her legs weren't bound but there was no way out. She sat and started sobbing. Brooke wanted to reach out to her but it was impossible. My poor little daughter, Brooke thought as a tear rolled down her left cheek. She looked very different from the pictures that had been on the media after the kidnap. What had these horrible people done to her."

The five men assembled and talked in hushed tones before another car entered through the gate. That particular car looked like it cost a fortune and three men in black suits with dark glasses got out. Brooke gasped when one of them removed his glasses. It didn't take long for her to recognize him. Bert Crawford was standing right in front of her. It had been long.

"Hi Brooke," he crouched in front of her sitting form waving a piece of paper near her face. She immediately recognized the blue ink that had accidentally poured onto the left side of Diamond's original birth certificate. Bert removed the gag from her mouth.

"H-how did you-"

"I gave it to him," Jason spoke, smirking at Brooke.

"Why?" Bert asked.

"Why what?" Brooke asked.

"Why did you keep her away from me?" He said. "You could have just asked me if you needed someone to take care of our daughter. Giving her away was the worst thing you ever did. It was so selfish and I'd never have thought you were capable of that until three years ago when I found out that I had a daughter. Your sister told me about the baby when she was drunk at Malia's birthday party."

Brooke's mind went to the numerous times her sister had gotten her into trouble. One day she was surely going to pay back.
She hated Kelly.

"But that's besides the point," he continued,"I still love you, Brooke and I love my daughter. You two are the reason why I'm here. I want the three of us to be together as a family. We're going to our new home, darling. You don't need to worry about anything."

"I'm not going anywhere with you," Brooke said, firmly.

Bert stood up and spoke to the man who had removed her from the trunk. "Take them both to the car."

But Ray was fast. He helped Brooke up and immediately turned her around so that her back was against his chest. He held a knife in front of her neck.

Before Bert could recover from the surprise, Jason had Diamond.

"What is it now, Ray? I have already paid you and I think your job is done here."

"Its not about money, Crawford." Ray said as the other three men with him pulled out guns. "It's about you. I know you were his favourite and you took over because he willed so but a few of us don't want you to be our leader. You just joined a few months ago and we've been in the gang all our lives. You have to resign."

Bert stared at Ray. One of his bodyguards went closer to him, ready to defend the boss.

"We'll not hand over these two unless you resign. Make a call to Joe or Rocky J right now. We've risked our lives to get these two so either do it or I kill them. The police are after us. Marlon was almost caught by detective Lomer today. Make your decision, quickly."

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