I opened the door of the house falling to my knees in the doorway crying. I clutched Matty tightly in my arms rocking him as he cried. I held him closely as he screamed. “Ana, Ana!” I heard screamed from across the road. I looked over as Ms. Marks came running from across the street. She came bounding into the house. “Are you okay? Ana?” She wrapped her arms around me. “Shhh, I’m protecting you. You’re okay.” I looked down at Matty as he clutched me in his arms.
“I have to call someone. I need to take Matty to the doctor.” I looked around.
“I’ll take him to the doctor. I’ll bring him right now.” I nodded as Matty wrapped his arms around her neck.
“My tummy hurts, Violet.” He sighed. I know she always babysat for Danny when he needed it. They’ve been friends for years.
“I’ll take him. It’s going to be okay. We’ve be back soon.” She rubbed my cheek. I let them leave before I pulled the house phone off the wall. I dialed quickly and put the phone to my ear.
“Ana?” Zander said picking up the phone on the second ring.
“Can you come here? I’m scared.” I cried silently. I heard rustling and the clicking of a gun being taken off safety.
“I’ll be there as soon as I can. Hold on. Do you have the gun I gave you?” I wiped my eyes standing up.
“Yes. It’s in my bedroom.” I sniffled my nose.
“Go get it. I’ll be there soon.” I hung up the phone and stumbled towards my room. I fell onto the floor and stayed there as I cried. I didn’t want to move anywhere. I sobbed on the floor not moving.
“Ana!” I heard yelled as Zander came running into the room. I looked over to him as he threw his gun on the bed and dropped to the floor picking me up in his arms. “I’m right here.” He whispered rocking me, just like I did Matty. “What happened?” He asked quietly. I shook my head curling myself up in his arms. “I got you.” He said pulling us up onto the bed.
“Thank you for coming.” I whimpered. He kissed my head stroking my hair.
“I’ll always come for you. I’ll always be here for you. Always.” He whispered rocking me into a lulled state whispering in my ear. I gave a whimper as he lulled me to sleep…
I woke some time later curled up in a mess of blankets. I put my hand to my head sitting up. I walked into the kitchen to see Zander sitting at the table. “Hey.” He looked up at me putting the paper he was reading down.
“Hey, how are you feeling?” He sat up walking towards me.
“Better, thank you.” He walked over to the stove pouring a cup of hot water into a cup. He pulled out a tea bag and put it in.
“Hello?” Ms. Marks, Violet, called into the house.
“In the kitchen.” I called back taking a sip of the warm liquid. Matty came walking into the room holding a bag. “Hey Bud, feeling better?” He nodded pulling himself onto the chair.
“Yeah. I brought nummies.” He giggled putting the bag onto the table. I looked over to Violet as she put drinks on the table.
“What’s wrong with him?” I asked her as he sucked on his soda.
“The flu. They gave him a shot for it. You should have seen him when we were getting food. He was bouncing off the walls. It was quite funny.” I smiled at him as he ripped the head off of his chicken nugget.
“Thank you for taking him.” I smiled at her as she opened the food bag.
“I promised your father I’d take care of you all.” She looked at me. “Even when you’re running down the road carrying a screaming child.” She rubbed my hair. “You two are great kids. I am always here to help you.” She had this warm smile on her face. It’s something I haven’t ever really gotten from anyone. Not a woman. I looked at Zander as he pulled the food out of the bag. “I called before to ask what you wanted so your friend told me.” She shrugged.
“Burger,” I caught the burger Zander threw at me.
“My favorite.” I smiled to myself. “Thank you.” I took a bite of it as Matty showed me his toy. My phone started to buzz on the table making us all look at it. I picked it up and sighed.
“It’s Finn.” I put it back down and turned away from it. Zander raised his eyebrow at me.
“Not going to answer it.” I shook my head picking up my drink. “It’s been buzzing for a while now.” Even Violet was looking at me weird.
“Conrad got mad at Sissy.” Matty said looking at the buzzing phone. He shook his head. “He woke me screaming like Diana does.”
“Matty no.” Zander’s jaw was tight as he stared at me.
“He threatened you didn’t he?” I looked down at my drink chewing on my straw. “Answer me, Anastasia.” I nodded.
“It doesn’t mean anything. You don’t have to worry about it. It’s done.” He glared at me taking a bite of his food violently, not happy with my answer.
“How are you feeling, Buddy?” Matty smiled at me.
“My tummy doesn’t hurt. I feel better.” Violet nudged me.
“His fever is gone as well. But the doctor gave him pills if the shot doesn’t work.” I nodded as there was a knock on the door. I looked over to the door to see a marine knocking loudly on our door.
“Ana, open up. Talk to me.” I took the last bite of my food swallowing it down. “Ana please!” Finn was going to give up on getting in.
“I can get him to go away.” Zander said sipping his drink leaning back into the chair.
“I got it.” I walked towards the door opening it so I could stick my head out the door. “What?” He stopped mid-knock and blinked at me.
“Ana, what the hell happened? My mom told me you ran out of the house.” I nodded.
“I did.” He waited for me to continue. I didn’t.
“What happened?” He asked putting his hand gently to my cheek.
“Ask your brother.” I muttered leaning into his calming touch.
“What did he do?” I could feel the tears forming in my eyes.
“He told Sissy to stay away or he’d shoot us.” Matty said walking up to us leaning his head on my leg. Finn’s face turned to stone.
“He what?” This wasn’t a shout like I expected it to be. It was deadly quiet. His eyes turned cold, like nothing I’ve ever seen come from him. He looked deadly. Scary deadly.
“It was nothing.” Even Matty could hear that I was lying. I winced at how bad it sounded.
“You were crying.” Matty pouted holding onto my thigh. Finn’s jaw clenched as he turned around and got into his truck slamming the door closed behind him. I sighed picking Matty up.
“You just don’t know how to keep that mouth of your shut, do you?” He giggled at me as we walked back into the kitchen. Violet smiled at me.
“He’s like his father. They both can’t.” I smiled looking at Z. He was dipping French fries in sauce before shoving them into his mouth. “I should get going. I’m teaching a class in an hour.” She smiled at us. “I’ll talk to you soon. I’m always a cross the street if you need anything.” I nodded as she walked out. I had Matty go play a game in his room.
“You heard all that.” I sighed sitting down taking a thing of fries.
“Yup.” I gave a slow nod.
“What are you going to do about it?” He smirked at me.
“Nothing.” I blinked in surprise.
“Nothing?” He nodded.
“Nothing.” I stared at him like he had lost his mind. “I don’t need to do anything.” He smiled showing his bright white teeth. “Your little boyfriend is doing my work for me. He needs to deal with this one. It’s his brother against his girl. Something a lot of men have to deal with.” He handed me one of his red colored fries. “This mission is his.” He winked.
“You are one weird man.” He got up kissing my head.
“You have no idea.” He laughed walking towards my bed room….
I had to pick something up from the pharmacy after I dropped a bouncing Matty at school. I walked back into the house going through the mail when I heard it. There were sounds coming from Danny’s room. I knew Danny wasn’t home yet. I just talked to him last night and he was still in South America. I frowned and put the letters and bag onto the counter. I walked to the door putting my hand to the handle as I heard grunting and moaning coming from it. I turned the knob and gasped.
“Oh my god.” I said staring at the site in front of me.