A spill occurs, what do you do next?
We threw our stuff into our bags and headed towards the lobby. I checked us out while Elena brought the car around. As I got in, my phone rang. It was Damien. I hesitated but answered it anyway.
“Babe? Thank God, I’ve been worried sick. Elena said you fainted!”
I looked over at Elena, she knew better than to tell him what really happened.
“It’s nothing; I skipped breakfast, my own fault.”
“I’m finishing up in work now, I’ll head over to the hotel-“
“No!” I said it louder than I meant to “Me and Elena have a lot to do before we leave for London next week. I’ll just head over to yours after we finish up. Say 6ish?”
“Ok, if you’re sure. I’ll pick something up, barbeque chicken?”
“Perfect, see you then.”
I hang up the phone. It had only been a few months but I knew Damien was already feeling this more than me. There was too much going on right now. I didn’t want him dragged into all of it. He said he was ok with keeping things casual. Safe.
First we headed to an internet café. I needed to book our flights for London. Heading abroad probably seemed mad but Firion had less influence over there. There is not a single town in the states that doesn’t have his name on a plaque somewhere.
My phone beeped. “Can’t wait to see you xox” This was getting to be a lot. He was there and I wasn’t. I don’t know if I will ever be there. Damian is a nice guy. I needed to finish this before it got any more complicated. I had to say it tonight.
He knows. Damien. He knows about me, about Firion. I didn’t tell him when we met. I didn’t really tell anyone on the outside. I just tried to keep my head down, move on with life. Once I made the decision to come forward, I knew I had to tell Damien. At first he imagined some sort of Charles Manson ‘family’ situation. Living off the land on some ranch, running around killing people. Far from it. We were a family yes but we lived in a hotel. Firion is a property developer, one of the richest in the world. He trades under a different name. One you would all be familiar with. Only we called him by his true name.
I actually had a great childhood. It’s all happy memories. The family had lived in one his smaller properties until we became bigger and he moved us to one of his hotels in California. We took over the top four floors. This was before I was born. So I grew up with the best games of hide & seek, our own swimming pool, full buffets every breakfast, lunch & dinner. The mothers lived with their children on the top floor. The men lived in separate rooms and were fathers to all the children. Women could have relationships but Firion encouraged polyamourous relations. He thought if no one ever knew who the father was, all the men would take care of every child. My mother loved Dexter. He was kind to me. I knew he wasn’t my father though. Not really. I think he knew it too.
“Morgan?” Elena’s voice disturbed my reminiscing. “Sorry, just the traffic is bad. Do you want me to drop you off at Damien’s now? I can head to the bookstore myself to check the CCTV.”
I looked at my watch, almost six. “Yeah, actually do you mind?”
“No but I still think we should have gone to the hospital.”
“No, I’m fine. That’s just wasting time. Plus you know he’d have people watching there.”
By the time we pulled up outside Damien’s it was almost 7. His car was in the drive and I’m sure he was inside pacing the lounge waiting for me.
I knocked on the door but after a minute or two I let myself in with the key he insisted I take. I walked in to the aroma of takeout. It felt comfortable, coming home after a long day to loved ones. Maybe I could have that. I walked into the kitchen and called out to make my presence known. On the tiles below the countertop were dark red splashes across the floor. No wonder the place smelled like takeout. “I think you missed a spot!” I laughed, expecting Damien to come in and tell me he was just about to clean it up. I lifted the plastic bag to move it to the sink and noticed it was still tied. The food containers still sealed inside.
I looked down at the floor again, then to the hallway. “Damien?” I walked down towards the bedroom. I opened the door slowly, waiting for it. The white sheets slowly turning crimson. Damien’s wide eyes looked back at me but his mouth was sewn shut. As I followed the red trail on the wall my gaze fell to the wardrobe. On the mirror where I brushed my hair in the morning; where I always caught Damien staring at me, were the red letters that said “JUST BE GLAD THERE WAS TRAFFIC”
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