The next morning she questioned me up one side and down the other about my run the day before but I didn’t share. “Why don’t you focus on Thanksgiving babe, isn’t it like in two days or some fuck?” I planned to stay around the house today and the kids were staying home. They were going on break in a few days anyway so it shouldn’t matter.
“No, I want you to tell me why we took the kids outta school and why Tommy and the others have been staked out in my kitchen all night.”
“Colton, are we in trouble?” I hated that tremble in her voice, hated that she was worried.
“No baby, you know I would never let anything happen to you, but there’s some shit going on that I thought it best to have my family where I can keep eyes on them for the time being. It’s nothing for you to worry about, I want you to go ahead and enjoy your holiday and don’t give this shit another thought.”
I went around the place making sure we were secure and then I went to work getting everything I could on the Porters. I haven’t given those fucks a thought in years I was too busy living the life I’d carved out for me and mine. I can’t say I was surprised that they’d come back after all these years to fuck with my happiness, that’s karma for ya. But the fuckers should’ve come after me instead of my kid. Now their destruction will be ten times worse.
“You’re still worrying Kat you know how I feel about that shit, cut it out. If there was something for you to stress over I’d tell you, but this, this is nothing that I can’t handle. Stop giving me that look.” Sometimes she sees too damn much.
I almost wish she was still harping on my ass about Caitie and her asshole friend. I wished even more than she would get moving on her Xmas bullshit whatever it was, all the shit I’d just spent the last coupla weeks arguing with her about. Anything but the worry and fear I saw in her eyes.
“Why don’t we spend the day doing something with the kids huh? We can make a fire in the cold ass back and toast marshmallows or some girly shit. Maybe I’ll take the boys for a run on their ATVs, you think they’d like that? We’ll wait and see what our little pre-convict wants to do because you can be sure it’s neither of those things.”
I was trying to lighten the mood, but like I said, after all these years together, never being apart, she knew me as well as I knew her. It was getting harder and harder to tell her not to worry and have her actually listen, but I was gonna try.
Ha, he’s not fooling me, I know him too well. I watched him all that day and the next as he hovered around me, and the kids like he was expecting us to disappear any second. I would call Law again and grill him but two things stopped me. One, he’s as tight lipped as Colton, and two, Colt would lose his mind if I went behind his back like that. I guess all I could do is wait and see.
The kids didn’t think anything of staying home a few days early, and Colt was so good at shielding them they never suspected a thing. They ran around the house like hooligans all except Caitie. Since Todd was leaving in a little over a month, the only time she had with him really was at school and when he came over in the evenings to do homework together.
My poor little girl looked haggard and miserable and it broke my heart that I couldn’t do anything for her because her father is a maniac. I tried not to worry and by midday of day two, when nothing happened, I let myself breathe again. Colton on the other hand was in and out pacing like a caged animal. He and dad were closed off in the study for hours and I still didn’t know what was going on.
I had to put it away, Colt was right, Thanksgiving was coming and I had a lot of prepping to do for the annual dinner that had somehow gravitated to our home instead of his parents. The house was usually like a revolving door on that day since we had everyone over including the crew.
“Colt I have to run to the store.” You would’ve thought I’d screamed fire the way he reacted. “Write me a list.” I knew that was coming but couldn’t resist pulling his chain. “No that’s okay, you always forget something I think I should go, I should’ve already taken care of this by now but things have been so crazy lately…”
“Fine we’ll go to the store give me a minute.” He left the room and I heard him barking orders on the phone before he went outside to where he had men surrounding the house. Next thing I know there was what sounded like ten bikes pulling into the driveway. “This is the limit, Colton what is going on?”
“I told you, I’m just taking precautions because of some stuff that’s been going on in the area there’s nothing for you to worry about.” Yeah, I believe that. We looked like a motorcade on the way to the damn supermarket but my husband, who drove like we were on the run was still trying to convince me that all was right in our world.
I know how he operates, I also know that as long as there’s breath in his body nothing and no one would ever get next to the kids or I, he’d proven that time and again, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to know just what we were facing.
Because the holidays were right on our doorstep and there was always so much to do, I was being pulled in two directions. The kids always looked forward to this time of the year, they were already making noises about Santa and what they wanted most this year. How do I keep them from realizing that something was going on with all the changes?
Colt wouldn’t worry about that his only concern would be our safety, so I guess it was up to me to keep things from getting too crazy. “Baby.” He took my hand as we turned into the parking lot that looked like everyone had had the same idea at once; the place was full.
“Do me a favor huh, why don’t you let me worry about our protection and safety and you take care of the festivities. I promise you that if there were something for you to worry about I would tell you. We straight?”
“I guess Colton I’ll do my best, but promise me that you’re not gonna be hurt either.”
“You can take that to the bank.”
The next day, as I’ve been doing since coming back from Law’s, I was preoccupied at the shop. People were hounding me for their shit because the holidays were coming, but my heart wasn’t in it. Thank fuck I had a crew who knew what they were doing.
I sat at my desk with my mind in turmoil. This time of year is very important to my family they go all out. I do all I can to see that they have whatever they need, but this year I’m not so sure. With this shit hanging over my head, I don’t know which way to turn. That’s a lie, I want to go shed some blood to keep my family safe, but there’s more going on here than just the threat against mine. Usually, I wouldn’t give a fuck, but I keep seeing those little girls looking back at me from those pages.
There was one thing I could do while I cooled my heels, so I picked up the phone. “Mallory, you got anything new for me?” I knew if he did he would’ve called me already but it was something to do. I hate this shit; and now Kat’s on my ass about Caitie Bear and that little punk.
This morning she’d started in on me again but a good stiff back shot had taken care of her ass, and by the time I pulled out our son was making enough racket to wake the dead, he needed the tit. That was enough to get her mind back on track.
“Not yet, the old man is still digging. I can tell you that this shit stretches farther than we thought. I don’t know what this family is into, but the way it’s looking, we’re gonna have to watch our sixes if we get mixed up with these fucks. Me, I’m all in, that’s my Goddaughter they fucked with so as soon as I hear anything it’s a go.”
“Okay man thanks. How’re Lydia and the kids?”
“Fucking pains in the ass as usual.” The smile in his voice was unmistakable fucker is as gone as I am. “You guys hear anything from my woman yet about their yearly madness?”
“Yeah, Lydia’s been busy wrapping gifts. How many fucking kids you got bro?”
“Well seeing as how I started before you and you’re almost caught up I don’t think you have fuck all to say to me about that.”
We talked shit for another five minutes before hanging up and I went to help the guys. It was going to be another long fucking day.
Because I couldn’t be away too long even with my guys on the clock watching the house, I cut out early. All the kids were tagged and I could see their every movement as well as my wife’s from the watch on my wrist, but it wasn’t the same.
When I tagged my family with the little chips in their jewelry, it was for the off chance of ‘if’ something happened. This shit with Caitie Bear in a fucking flesh rag was a definite threat, and the players were such that I wasn’t taking any chances.
“Oh for fuck sake.” Elena and her posse were here as was evident by the line of luxury cars in my damn driveway. I’d forgotten what day it was, tomorrow was Thanksgiving, which meant I was going to be overrun by these women all damn day with their cooking and baking shit.
Just as I expected, my kitchen was a madhouse. I looked at my wife in her element; she’s the only reason I put up with this shit every year, because it makes her happy. “Ladies, hi baby.” She grinned at me because she knew how uncomfortable I was around Elena’s hen pack.
“Well Colton, it sure has been a while since we’ve seen you where’ve you been keeping yourself?” Ms. Lucille, one of mom’s oldest and dearest stared at me ass like it was her next meal while asking me that innocent question.
“I’ve been around, Kat you good, you need anything?” She shook her head while fighting laughter and I stole a quick kiss before breaking out to the sound of laughter and wild suggestions. I could hear the kids running around laughing and having a good time, which helped to smooth the rough edges, except one.
“Hi baby what you doing out here all alone?” Was she ever going to lose that sadness from her eyes? Did she have any idea what I would do for her? There wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t give to make sure that her happiness was complete.
“I’m okay daddy. Daddy can I ask you a question?”
“Sure baby, you know you can ask me anything.” Please don’t let her ask me about that boy? Why are the women in this family trying to send my ass to jail? Don’t they know me well enough by now? How can they not know that I would bury this fuck somewhere if he looks cross eyed at my daughter?
“Why don’t you like Todd?” Ah fuck!
“Because I’m never gonna like any boy you bring home.” What I’m supposed to lie to my kid now, what the fuck? She looked like she wanted to cry but I hardened my heart against that shit. No way was I giving the okay for my little princess to go off with some boy to have dinner. That smacked of commitment and all the other bullshit that she was not allowed to do until she was thirty fucking years old. Shit, my gut hurt.
“But that’s not fair what did he do? Mom says he’s just like you and nana Elena said he acts the way you used to when you were little.” What the fuck? “Well that might be all well and true, but you’re my little girl and I’m not ready for all this stuff. When I told you it was okay to see him, I…” Damn. “Look baby I’m sorry that your friend is going away but I can’t lie, I don’t want you being that serious about anyone at your age. I do like the boy, he’s a nice kid, but like I said, he could be the king of Siam and I still wouldn’t want him for you, do you understand?”
“I guess, mom explained it to me, you’re being a dad and dads freak out about their little girls. But could you maybe think about it? I’m gonna marry him one day you know.” She gave me a cute little smile while she ripped my heart out.
“Aw kid what’re you trying to do to me?” She sat in my lap and rested her head on my shoulder the way she used to when she was a little mite. “I love you little girl never forget that. There will be times when I do things that will make you mad, like this dinner deal, but it’s only because I love you and I will always protect you. You believe me?”
“I do daddy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.” So much like her mother. “Fair enough.” She went off looking a lot better than when I first walked in. I tried to make my escape when I heard footsteps behind me. I’d know that walk anywhere.
“Oh Colton, may I have a word?”
“Char, I’m not in the mood for any of your hoodoo crap.” She grinned at me and I got a good look at her eyes. “Aw shit, you and your partner in crime got into dad’s stash again?” Fucking women are always high and up to some shit.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She sniffed like I’d affronted her or some shit.
“I wanted to talk to you about this little situation…”
I felt the hair on my arms stand up, this one creeps me the fuck out. “What situation would that be?”
“You know; that thing that you and your boys are looking into. It’s going to all work out. By the way, you have some very handsome friends, are they coming for the holidays?”
What the fuck? “Char, your husband know you cruising in my kitchen?” I beat feet outta there before she could work any more of that shit on my ass. Fucking tealeaves.
There was only one place to hide from this horde, so after I checked in with my guys who assured me that all was clear on the home front before I sent them off, I headed downstairs. There was no use in arguing with my wife and her mother in law because they don’t listen for shit, but as soon as my house is clear I’m gonna lay down the law.