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   Chapter 11 Eleven

Beauty and the Bad By Aubrey Wolfe Characters: 24416

Updated: 2019-04-28 22:52

I end up back in front of Sommers Auto Shop, looking at the familiar steel door. I'm having a weird sense of deja-vu as I walk towards the door and knock.

Athena rips open the door, her blue eyes furious. Her face calms as soon as she sees it's me, and is replaced with confusion.

"What are you doing back here? Didn't think I would see you again, " she says, a slight sneer to her tone.

"Well, we do go to the same school together still." I try and joke, but she doesn't budge. "Also, I might have found out who my mother is, and who her motive really is."

Athena quirks an eyebrow. "So, why did you come here? You obviously know we're the ones she's after. You don't think she wouldn't follow you?"

"She looked kind of busy when I left, which is another reason I think I'm here." I honestly don't know why I ended up walking here. As far of a walk as it is, my mind was wandering the entire time, and I had no sense of direction.

"Mind as well come in, right now is the perfect time, you can help me." Athena opens the door wider and walks further into the garage.

"Help you with what?" I ask, slowly following after her. My question is silently answered when I fully enter the main garage room – which is completely destroyed.

There is broken glass all over the floor, from what looks like car windows, and beer bottles. The car Dustin was working on earlier, taking apart to salvage, is now completely smashed in on every possible angle. All the windows are broken, the hood is badly dented, the bumper is kicked in, and all the doors are demented and bent.

Overall, it looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it, and went ham on it for a good hour.

I continue to look around, and stop where Athena is standing, by the small counter and mini-fridge. The door to the fridge is broken off, there are splotches of liquid covering the walls and counter, most of it already dried up.

"What the hell happened here?" I ask quietly.

"Reece happened. When you ran off the other night, he went ballistic. Thankfully, I wasn't here for most of it, but Thomas told me the gruesome story. He lost it on him, demanded he tell him where I had gone so he could also lose it on me, I guess. Then, when Thomas refused to let him go anywhere, and told him it was done, that seemed to send him overboard, and he started destroying everything in sight. Thomas told everyone to stay away from the garage and phoned Nathan so they could try and calm him down. That's all I really know, " she says, examining her nails like she is talking about the god damn weather.

I'm at a loss for words.

How could one man, do all this?

"I feel like I already know the answer, but why would he do something like this?" I ask.

Athena rolls her eyes. "Of course you already know the answer. We warned both Ethan and Reece not to get too involved, but it seems Reece didn't get the memo. Ethan knew what was expected of him, he knew not to let any feelings get attached, but Reece came in and ruined everything before he even had the chance to prove himself."

"Where is Reece now?" I ask, looking warily around the room and towards the back area.

"Don't worry, he isn't here. When I came back here the next day, he was gone, and this mess was left here for me to clean up. I haven't seen or heard from him since, or Thomas. Ethan should be back in a bit, if you have something you need to tell us about your mother, he will want to hear it, " she says, her tone turning serious.

"I do, actually, but I'm not sure what to make of it to be honest."

Athena turns and hands me a broom. "Well, figure it out while you clean. You sweep while I scrub." She turns back to the counters without another word, throwing on some light music on the surround speakers, which thankfully are high enough on the walls, that they didn't get damaged at all in Reece's rage.

I try and put my thoughts together, playing over the scene in the kitchen with my mother again and again, trying to think of any clues or hints that could help me understand what it was she was preparing for?

If this were a cartoon, a lightbulb would appear on top of my head. I look over towards Athena, who is humming away to the gentle, classical music. I didn't take her as the type.

"Hey, can I ask something? I know you guys don't trust me all that much, " I say and she turns slowly, giving me a curious look. "But is there a chance that something might be going down with the crew tonight? Is that maybe why you haven't seen Reece, and is it also why Ethan isn't here?"

Her gaze goes cold, and she narrows her eyes.

"Why are you asking this?"

I put the broom down and put my hands up defensively. "Hear me out, I'm asking because it has to do with what happened with my mother tonight."

She purses her lips, thinking over what I said, then points to the battered couch and takes a seat. I cautiously sit down next to her, and she gestures for me to continue talking.

"I saw my mother with this strange man tonight, they were strapping on bullet proof vest and had multiple handguns, fully loaded. My mother told me she has been lying to me about being a junior assistant lawyer at a firm in town. It turns out, she was actually asked to be a part of an investigative detective team, tasked with tracking and finding your crew."

Athena doesn't seem phased by what I'm saying, or she has a great poker face. Either way, something doesn't seem right by her blank expression.

"Does that not worry you?" I ask.

"Chloe, we have known about your family since before you moved here, since before your mother even got the job. Do you ever wonder why they wouldn't have moved you to another country? Why would they re-locate you and your mother, just a couple hours away from where you're trying to escape from?"

I never really question anything the FBI did, they intimidated me too much for me to even breath in their presence. But she is bringing up a valid point.

I never expected this to be like in the movies, where you're re-located to an exotic new place, and you fall in love or go on a grand adventure, though I've come pretty damn close. Though I don't expect an exotic place, should they not have moved us out of the country? Or is that really only in movies?

"I can see you've never questioned this, " she says and I shake my head. "Your mother was offered the job before you guys moved, and she was offered it because she wanted it. She went to the FBI agent overseeing your case and re-location, and said she wanted to help take down the man who killed her boyfriend, and she has a pretty wide background on the subjects, so they offered her a job, and you were both re-located here so she could do that job."

"She didn't tell me about the job until a few days after we moved here, " I say quietly, my body going numb from the continuous string of shocking news.

Why is everything coming to light all at once? Why can't I catch a break?

"It seems your mother isn't that much better than you, or us."

I hear Athena's words, but they don't quite reach past my ears, my mind lost in itself. I feel her put her hand on my shoulder, snapping me out of it. I'm surprised to see her looking at me with genuine concern.

"I'm sorry this is all happening right now, and if it makes you

Angel and Dustin talk quietly in the kitchen area, their heads squished together like two kids admiring their first sighting of an earth worm.

They all look up when Reece walks through, expressions of relief pass through the room. Dustin is the first to approach, his look of relief replaced with deep concern.

"Have you heard anything from your father?" he asks. Reece instantly tenses next to me, and reflexively reaches out towards Dustin.

"We'll talk about it later, " he mutters into his ear. Dustin quickly nods and rushes back over to stand with Angel, hanging his head down.

"Who is your father?" I ask.

Reece clenches his hands into fists at his side, his jaw clenched. "Let's go to my room, " he says and grabs my hand, pulling me softly towards the hallway.

As soon as we're in his room, he strips off his jacket, wearing nothing but a thin, tight t-shirt underneath. My breath hitches in my throat at the sight of his tense, muscular back and defined arms. You can see every muscle contort with how tight his shirt is, or how muscular his body is, depending on how you want to look at it.

He kicks off his boots and gestures to the bed. I take a hesitant seat, looking around the room. The walls are completely bare, no pictures or even posters. Besides the king-sized bed, there is a couch in the opposite corner, with a small round, wooden coffee table, a few magazines and papers scattered over it.

A TV is mounted to the wall, no DVD's, game consoles or anything else around it. Besides that, there is one three drawer dresser next to his bed, where a single lamp to illuminate the room sits on top, and an old-fashioned alarm clock.

"Have you lived here long?" I ask absent-mindedly. Reece stops and looks over at me, my eyes still wandering around, peaking at him from the corners.

"Not really, a few months. I don't spend a lot of time here, other than to sleep or take a nap if time permits."

"Are you always moving, is that why?"

Reece gives me another curious look. "Yes, you could say that."

"Why is that?" I continue to bombard him with questions, tired of sitting here, guessing and assuming what is going on.

"Chloe, I want to tell you everything, and I will. There is something I have to do first, however, " Reece says. He finally stops pacing the room and comes to sit down next to me, his body so close I can feel the heat off his skin.

"What do you have to do?"

"I have to get permission."

I raise a questioning brow. "I have to get permission from Monroe, to tell you anything, though some information you found out on your own, I can't say or do anything without him finding out."

"Athena told me a few things; did she need permission as well?" I ask, thinking about how she literally blabbed their whole big secret they kept from me.

"Yes, she would have needed permission, but she didn't get it. So, chances are she will be punished accordingly for it, whenever Monroe is able to come out of hiding, when we all are."

My blood turns cold when he says 'punished accordingly'. I don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what that possibly means. It can mean a few things, none of them very great though.

"What's going to happen to her?"

Reece offers me a small smile. "Don't worry, nothing bad will happen to her. Worst case, she might get her next pay cut taken away, or cut in half. Or, maybe she'll just get her license taken away from her for a few weeks."

"Oh, " I mumble, wiping away all the horrible scenarios my mind is playing for me on repeat. Those punishments didn't sound horrible at all, they sounded like slightly upgraded punishments you gave your kids.

Like taking away their allowance for one week, or taking their toys away for a few. Instead, that 'allowance' is probably more than I would make at any part-time job, and those 'toys' isn't exactly a model airplane.

"Do you think you will be given permission?" I ask.

Reece purses his lips, thinking it over in his head.

"I'm not sure, which is why I have another plan."

"What exactly is your new plan?" I get a bad feeling in my stomach at the tone of his voice. He is up to something, I know it.

The smile he gives me after doesn't help that feeling.

"I want to bring you with me, to meet Monroe."

My heart leaps out of my chest and my lungs collapse, knocking the breath out of me. I couch a little, choking on my saliva as I inhale sharply to regain some air. "Are you crazy?" I finally manage to cry out.

"Yes, I am. Thought we had established that by now, " he says, stilling smiling like a maniac.

"Why would you want to bring me to meet your boss?"

Reece shakes his head. "I'm not bringing you to meet him, because he is my boss."

I give him a confused look.

"I'm bringing you to meet him, because I want you to meet my father, and I want him to meet you."

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