Chapter 8

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I had never seen my father look as terrified as he did after receiving the King's threat.

"Why? Do you think they'll actually-?"

"Will, what are you doing out here?"

"Oh, just got back from the bathroom." I lied walking in with them. They came back with containers of sandwiches and salads. It wasn't great by any means, but I didn't realize how hungry I was until now. I felt a little selfish eating in front of Liam, but I know he understood.

My father didn't mention anything the entire time. He quietly ate his turkey and swiss before getting up to leave.

"I have stuff to take care of at home. I'll be back to see you later."

He left quickly and silently. Whatever they were talking about, he was afraid.

After a week of recovery in the hospital, they allowed Liam to go home. My father avoided most contact. I wheeled him into the house. Nova carried his crutches in behind him. Minga went home the next day. She did have a minor concussion, but was expected to be alright.

Liam ignored her texts and calls. He turned his phone on silent and shoved it deep into his pocket. His eye was a yellow purple healing.

He was parked in his wheel chair by the couch. I could hear his phone going off.

Beep
Beep
Beep

"Seriously?" I

"What?"
Beep.

"You're ignoring her? She probably thinks your dead."

"So be it."

"Really. She's clearly hurt right now."
Beep
"Like you should be talking, you don't know anything about relationships!" He snapped.

This was true. I didn't know. I had no further argument. I pushed up and went upstairs. Why would Liam do that to her? Was it because of something that happened before? Or was it about the conversation he and my father had?
I passed my father's office.

"What is it Frank?" I backed up, recognizing my mom's delicate voice. I peaked my eye through the crack of the door. Eavesdropping was one of my few skills I was good at.
He spoke quietly, something I wasn't used to hearing.

"Liam wasn't attacked by strangers. He was attacked by the King family. They know, Ellie."

She pulled away in a panic.

"Frank! How could you! I warned you! They know you have it! They're gonna kill us and the kids. Not the kids! Jack is so young. Liam and Nova are such strong people. And Will has so much to offer the world."

Oh yeah? Like what? I can't do anything. I'm alone.

"I know. I know. That's why you need to leave."

"What?"

"It's me they want, and they'll use you to get to me. I want you and the kids safe."

She didn't say anything. I couldn't bear to here this anymore. I walked off into my room and laid down on the bed.

I could leave. I could with my mother. I could leave it all behind. I felt the need to run out and pack immediately. There was a chance at salvation and freedom.

My father came down alone.

"Kids. I need to speak with you. My office."

It was a miracle how we got Liam up the steps, but we made it up.

He locked the door not only once, but three times. The blinds were closed.

"Jack and your mother are leaving. The reason why those men hurt you Liam, was to send a message. A message to me."

He pulled back a painting, which had a metal safe in the wall. Since when had that been there?

He carefully turned the code and scanned his eye, which was followed by a voice password.

It opened. A dull briefcase was its only contents. It was dusty and old.

He pulled it out and placed it on his desk before typing another code.

He carefully in clipped the briefcase. It opened with a snap.

It was a plain compact disk. It looked completely ordinary. What was so important about this disk? What information did it hold?

"This is what the King's want. It's what turned them against those they used to call friends."

"What is it? What kind of value does it have?"

"This disc contains names. Names and faces of everyone who has ever worked for the King's. It contains every deal they've gone to. All the pounds of weed, kilos of coke they've smuggled. If someone turned it into the police, they'd be taken down just like that." He snapped his fingers. 

"They thought the Rossi's took this. In retaliation, they stole from the Rossi's. This eventually led to an all out war. They obliterated each other."

"You.. You destroyed them." Liam accused.

"No. They destroyed each other." Father gave him a hard look.

"So what are we going to do? Destroy it?"

"No. If they believe we have it then nothing is going to change their minds. We may as well keep it. Perhaps we can use it against them." His round fingers danced along the handles of the brief case.

"How did they find out it was you who started their fighting ten years ago?"

"No idea. Only four people knew about what my plan was. Two of them are dead. One of them is me, and the fourth lives in this very house."

Nova gasped.

"Mom?"

"No way! She'd never do anything to hurt us." I tried to shut down the accusation before it was even made.

"Calm down, son. I don't think it was your mother. I think one of the men who I believed to be dead."

"Well, what's your plan then?"

"First off, I'm sending you all away. Too dangerous around these parts. Then I'm gonna find the bastard who ratted me out and threatened my family. Then I'll obliterate the King's and the Rossi's. For good this time. They'll know not to threaten Frank Merlin and his family."

"We can't leave! We're the top dogs! We can't be defeated that easily. Are we supposed to put our tail between our legs and just quit?"

"Precisely. Last time I let you stay, you almost died. You are loyal Liam, and I truly respect that. But if you disobey me I will send you away one way or another. Is that clear?"

There was nothing more to say. Frank had made up his mind.

"Yes, father."

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