Chapter 14: DEADLY PASSION
The silence in the room is deafening. The urge to tell the man that they’d never be over, almost drove Malia crazy. Then she realises this is exactly what she needs, for him to push her away, after all she’s too weak to do the honours. Twisting the knob, she whispers a final, “goodbye, Kai.”
Her long, shapely legs carry her down the hall to the elevator, Malia almost hopes he’ll come after her. Stop her and tell her that this is all some bat-shit crazy dream. A part of her even considers running away with him, but her family are no joke… they’d find her and there would be hell to pay. She’d hand it to Mary for lasting this long, but then again at least her cousin has a part of her lover. She has Robert. Malia is left with nothing, nothing but the pain.
The tears run freely. Malia slips into her vehicle and pulls away from Kai, her eyes flicker up to his floor before she revs out of the parking lot and disappears with a blur of dust. Rain begins to pour down as she drives away from him, her hands clench the steering wheel tightly, she forces herself to continue home and not turn around.
Parking outside the tattoo shop she locks up and enters the parlour. She barely registers a shocked Rhett and Kol or the chaos she’d created around them. Malia simply passes her staff and heads up to the top level without uttering a single word.
Rhett and Kol eye each other, Kol shakes his head as his friend attempts to follow Malia. He can see she needs space, space and a good rest. Two terms Rhett didn’t understand the definitions of. “Keep cleaning, idiot.” Kol mutters, knowing now that no one had broken in and instead a Silvetti had simply lost control. Rhett wisely keeps his mouth shut, and forces the curious questions to remain wedged tightly in his throat, the guy then continues sweeping together the broken glass.
Malia enters her bathroom, her clothes discarded of along the walk. She braces her palms against the basin and glares into the mirror above the sink, she’d let a man get to her. She promised herself a long time ago that she’d never let another man hurt her, but Kai isn’t just another man. He is different, and that knowledge kills her. Stepping under her showerhead she allows the cold water to bite at her numb skin, sinking to the tiled floor, Malia shivers through sobs. The pain of losing him shatters her.
Across town, Kai glares at the space Malia had occupied. Frozen, he’s unable to move. Unable to take his gaze away from the front door, silently praying she’ll return to him. Leaning against the wall he hunches over and drops his head, his hands fist. Weak. The word runs through his mind like some kind of sick torture.
The weak fucker can’t live without her, and she made sure he couldn’t live with her. Emotionlessly, Kai moves to his feet. His large figure shuffles through his home, absently picking up all the broken shit. Hoping to distract himself from the painful throbbing in his chest, unfortunately even the shards of glass slicing his fingers do little in dulling the ache, and even less in becoming a distraction.
The brute makes his way to his room and strips. Entering the bathroom, Kai turns on the hot water valve and steps under the blistering spray, hoping to shock his system back into action. But nothing works, he remains impassive. He remains a cold, lifeless being under the steaming spray of his showerhead.
As he turns the water off, a switch flicks in his mind, reaching out Kai grabs a towel from the rails, his limbs working on autopilot. He dries off, before stepping into sweats and a white shirt. Walking through his room and apartment, the large man exits while swiping his keys off the counter. With a destination in mind, Kai steps into the elevator.
He sees no reason in continuing without her, so he finds a different alternative, one that will rid him of any discomfort. Keying the ignition, Kai pulls away from the apartment block in search of death. A long, slow and excruciating death.
A week passes and Malia absently moves through each day, her body present while her mind and heart search for the dark demon in her dreams. Staring at the screen in front of her, she subconsciously taps her pen as Kol and Rhett work on two clients. The shrill of a phone rings on inattentive ears.
Grinding his molars, Kol glares at his boss. The damn woman looked as much like a ghost as she acted, clearly something has happened, something he knows involves the stranger months prior. Apologising to the man in front of him, he stands. Striding to the front desk, Kol slams his hand down on the counter, shocking the shit out of both Rhett and Malia.
Tension continues to churn in the air, Rhett nervously watches the scene unfold. Slowly, Malia raises her eyes to meet Kols. She narrows her gaze and cocks her head slightly waiting for him to continue. “The phone’s ringing.” He snaps, seconds from grabbing her shoulders and shaking some sense into her.
She follows his glare and looks down at the noisy item. Flexing her fingers, she answers the phone. “Hello?” Kol returns to his station as she answers the phone, planning to give the bloody woman a thorough talking to after hours.
’Malia?’ The accented voice questions. She hums a small, yes. ’He’s going to get himself killed…’ that sentence alone has Malia snapping back to reality and jumping to her feet. This time its Kol who gets a shock, along with the other three individuals in the store.
She bites her lower lip nervously, “where is he?”
’In the ring,’ Shin releases a breath.
Dropping the phone, Malia grabs her keys and exits the shop without a second thought. Sliding into the driver seat, she thrusts the key into the ignition and pulls away from the parking space. Driving to the gym at double the speed, she groans out in frustration as her phone buzzes in her pocket. Dragging it out she answer with a curt, “what?”
’Where the fuck are you?’ The sound of Mikel’s angered voice has her reeling.
Without thinking she replies, “at Shin’s gym.” She hears commotion in the background and instantly bites her cheek. Fuck, she didn’t have time for this shit, cutting the call she drops the small device on the seat beside her while swiftly parking.
A worried Shin paces outside his gym, his eyes instantly meet Malia’s as she moves out of her car and towards him, crossing the space with long, slender strides. He catches her wrist and pulls her back as she goes to pass him. “Wait!” She turns to him with a glare, “you can’t just go in there and expect to come out unscratched…” He doesn’t wait for her to respond. “Kai’s a mess, Malia. He’s been here every day, without a miss, just letting himself get beat up. The boys are beginning to worry.”
“Let go of my fucking hand.” Malia speaks through her teeth as a deadly shiver runs down her spine.
Shin tightens his hold, “Malia. At least think it through for a second.”
“I won’t say it again, Shin.” Malia tugs her hand hard and the older man releases his grip. She doesn’t think twice about storming into the gym, her eyes narrow in on the scene in the middle of the room. Her anger spikes and a shot of adrenaline has her making her way towards the bastards hurting her man.
The rest of the gym is unaware of the furious woman coming their way, instead they focus on the brute in the middle of the ring. Slumped over, he takes hit after hit.
Pushing past several onlookers, Malia moves under the ropes and steps into the ring.
“Hit me, you fuckers!” Kai’s brittle voice sends a fury like no other through Malia.
She mutters under her breath, “oh, I’ll hit you, you fucker…” The assaulter’s backs face her. Grabbing the back of one of their necks she slams her heel down on their popliteal, at the same time her free elbow swings out to catch another in the jugular. The third attacker finally catches on, turning his watch onto the livid woman.
Shin watches the scene shocked, the young tattooist definitely matched Kai, they’re destructively beautiful.
Drawing her fists up, Malia eggs the bastard on. He smartly steps back. The rest of the gym watches the small woman as she approaches Kai. Without warning, her hand swings out and slaps the man sharply across his clenched jaw. The sound silences the room further, “bloody idiota!” she grabs his jaw and lifts his face to hers.
Kai’s bloodied gaze meets hers, a cruel smirk lifts the corner of his mouth. “You’ll always come back…” Kai takes in all of her beautiful form, “you love me, baby?” He questions, needing the answer more than his lungs needing oxygen.
She slams her mouth down on his, the metallic taste erupts through their kiss. “Yes, you know I fucking do, Kai…” She pulls back, “please get up.” She whispers. Her hands lift him; she supports him as they step out of the ring. Shin leads them to his office away from all the curious eyes, he holds the door open as they enter.
Pushing Kai down on a chair, Malia leans against the desk with her arms crossed, “what the hell are you doing?” She questions.
Kai can’t answer, he can’t believe she’s there. That she’s standing in front of him. He continues to trail his eyes over her form, still not satisfied.
His unresponsive behaviour annoys Malia, standing straight she steps up to him, between his parted thighs. Kai’s hands instantly come up to cup her hips, he draws her in close, burying his face against her stomach. Breathing in her scent, she feels the man relax against her. Her own arms come up to wrap around his head, she binds them together tightly.
Grabbing Johann’s shoulder, Mikel tugs him back. “Don’t do anything rash.” His threat hangs in the air. Mikel couldn’t stand to put his younger brother back in jail for something as foolish as revenge, at the same time he refuses to believe his younger cousin would be foolish enough to involve herself with someone as dangerous as a Carson.
“Mikel, don’t test me.” Johann attempts to shrug out of his brothers tightening hold.
Mikel glares at the back of his head, “I said I’ll fucking go, now sit your bloody ass down.” But Johann refuses to back down. Releasing a frustrated sigh, Mikel loosens his grip.
Within seconds Johann is out of the house and storming towards his car, Mikel quickly follows behind his enraged brother with his own fury burning through his veins. Slipping into the car, Mikel eyes his brother, knowing the man is beyond any sort of reasoning. So instead, he calls Nikolas and Sinn, telling them to get their dumbasses to Lydia before Johann shit hits the fan.
Speeding down the highway, Johann manages to cover the twenty-minute journey in ten. Entering Lydia’s town, his eyes scan for the right gym. The tension in his body claws out, he’s after blood. Those bastards had taken his sister, now his cousin, it was time he put an end to this shit. Eyeing the glove compartment, he practically hears the safety click over.
Locating the large warehouse like structure, Johann parks. Mikel steps out and quickly makes his way inside, hoping to ease the situation before his lunatic of a brother gets himself in any more trouble. Unfortunately, this action gives Johann the perfect opportunity to free the gun he’s kept locked up. Stepping out of his car, the large Silvetti pushes the gun into his back pocket before following in the direction his brother had.
Mikel knows he has a short minute before his brother comes barrelling in, “Malia!” His loud voice draws the attention of everyone in the gym, his uniform has them stepping back. Scanning the space, his eyes zero in on his cousin, slinking out of a room. His eyes widen at the sight of her, blood lines her shirt and arms. All thoughts of being ration fly out the window in an instant. He now knows why Johann is enraged.
Behind her exits a much larger man, he instantly recognises the fucker.
Kai glares at the officer in front of him, he lightly pushes Malia to the side. Stepping forward towards the man. Malia grabs the back of his shirt, “don’t, Kai.” She pleads. But Kai is too far gone, they tried to keep his Malia away from him, just like they did to his brothers.
In a blur of movements, both Mikel and Kai advance on one another with their arms drawn back. Malia rushes up to them, unable to stop the brawl, the sound of fist meeting flesh has her cringing and crying out for them to stop. All of a sudden Kai goes flying back, he slams into the wall behind her, but with a smug tilt of his jaw the man rises. Her eyes drop to the metal swinging around his fingers.
Mikel sobers up, instantly recognising his gun in Kai’s hands. Mentally his curses himself for not removing the damn revolver from his belt.
Cemented between the two, Malia’s eyes widen. Before anyone can react, Johann steps into the gym. His eyes flash to Malia’s briefly, scanning her torso he grinds his molars, seeing the same thing Mikel had; blood on Malia. He swore he’d kill the bastard. Johann moves towards the trio, but before he can pass his brother, Mikel pulls him back.
Only then does Johann notice the item in Kai’s hands. Without thinking, Johann draws his own gun and lifts it, pointing it directly at Kai’s chest. “Fucking hell, Johann!” Mikel grunts out, “don’t even think about it.” He motions for Shin to remove the onlookers, the owner does so quickly.
The threating move from the furious Silvetti influences Kai to also raise his firearm.
“Johann, please!” Malia begs her cousin.
Johann refuses to meet her eyes, “you betrayed your family, Malia.” Just like his sister did.
Mikel takes a step towards Malia, planning to stand in front of her if things go south, but Kai’s not having it. “One more step and I’ll shoot, officer.” Using the gun as a ruler, Kai nudges him back beside Johann. He plans to either walk out of here with Malia or round up a dead mess on Shin’s concrete floor. The latter not as appealing as the prior.
Unable to handle the men she loves standoff, Malia catches each of their gazes. Mikel would definitely push Johann out of the way and vice versa, but no one would push Kai. Weighing up the options, she comes to a conclusion. A tear runs from the corner of her eye. Their expressions say it all; there will be gunshots and someone here will end up injured really, really badly or much worse, dead.
“I love him,” Malia whispers out. Her voice is hollow, carrying out the anguish threading through her body.
All three sets of eyes focus on her, broken and distraught Malia takes a small step back towards Kai. “He’s got you fucked, Malia. Get the hell away from him!” Johann shouts, panic surfaces. He was losing her…
“Malia, I’m not playing. Get away from him.” Mikel stresses, a vein throbbing at the base of his neck. His eyes flicker between his cousin and Kai. He saw the same look in both their eyes, the same look all Silvetti’s shared with their partners. “Johann, put the gun down.” He finalises. Knowing full and well that no good would come from the firearm.
Feeling betrayed by his own brother, Johann takes a step forward. He’d take the fucker out himself! This only saw to Kai’s finger pressing lightly on the trigger. “One more step, I dare ya.” He grunts out. Aiming to shoot but not kill, knowing it’d destroy Malia, his line of fire drops slightly. This action doesn’t go unmissed by Mikel, who raises an eyebrow in surprise.
But, Johann never backs down from a dare. Especially one that involved the safety of his family. So he takes another step forward with a tilt of his barrel.
All hell breaks loose.
Malia expected everything to move in slow motion, but it almost felt like the world around her sped up. She had less than a second to decide. Her mind runs triple the speed and before she can question her sanity, her legs carry her forward- between the men she can’t stand to watch die- as two shots disturb the tense atmosphere.
At first there’s nothing but silence. Tears run freely and a burning sensation erupts in her chest. Looking down at her white t-shirt, she feels the warm blood seep down her body… darker blood painting the material of her clothing. Her body sways and her knees buckle. As she hits the cold concrete, two large arms wrap around her.
Cradling her decent, Kai watches in shock as her blood leaks out. His presses his large palm against her wound, but the blood creeps between his fingers. Malia’s small hand reaches up to stroke Kai’s jaw, her cousins drop to their knees beside the couple. She tilts her heard slightly, “don’t hurt him,” she splutters out the words.
And, as her eyes shutter, three grown men crumble…