Before you read this, make sure you’ve read ‘It All Happened So Fast.’
A few days ago…
Dani paced the floor of her apartment, Mark, her father, and Paula all gathered on the couch watching her.
“Is she always like this?” Paula whispered, leaning into Jackson’s side.
“Nope, never seen her like this. She’s usually scary cool in situations like these.” Jackson whispered back.
Dani turned on her heels and made her way from one end of the rug to the other before turning again. She paused for a moment before turning to look at Paula.
“I love you. I know it’s sudden and I didn’t expect to feel like this, but I do.” She began.
Paula smiled wide but said nothing, she could tell Dani had more to say.
“I know that’s your dad and uncle, but you’ve said it yourself, you don’t know your uncle that well, and your dad’s unrecognizable.” Dani said.
Paula said nothing as she rose up from the couch and made her way over to the officer. Without words, she took the other woman’s face in her hands and pulled her into a kiss.
Suddenly the world froze. The situation at hand, the men sitting on the couch, the walls of Dani’s apartment, and everything else melted away. It was just the two of them, floating in space.
She did it, Dani finally found the one thing she’d spent so much of her adulthood looking for and she’d be damned if she lost it.
“I know to you all my dad’s the big bad wolf, but he’s still a dad. Me, I’m one of his biggest weaknesses, his Achilles’ heel if you will.” Said Paula.
At the time Paula had seemed so sure; so sure that she knew her father like the back of her hand. And then the time came, and Pauly revealed himself. She was never a daughter to him, she was his obedient little puppy. He trusted her not because she was his daughter, not because he loved her; no, he trusted her because he trained her, made her his shadow, and knew that she’d obey his every command. In his mind, Paula had been just another one of his goons all along.
As Dani sat in the waiting room of the hospital, she shook her head, cursing herself for not taking more precautions. Cursing herself for not treating Pauly and his brother like the true criminals they were and for not doing more to protect Paula.
“Easy.” Clark said, placing a firm hand on Dani’s leg to stop her knee from bouncing.
Dani shook her head before dropping her head on his shoulder.
“This is all my fault. I should have protected her.” Dani said.
Clark gave her leg a comforting squeeze as he pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
“You couldn’t have predicted that Pauly would turn out to be a fucking snake.” He said.
Dani closed her eyes, tears squeezing past her lids and running down her face.
She didn’t want to think about the monsters that were the LaVine men. All she wanted was for Paula to be okay. They were just getting started and Dani couldn’t lose her; not now, not like this.
Dani and the rest of her squad occupied the waiting room. Some of the other officers took turns trading spots with Clark and sitting with Dani. Some offered up their deepest apologies, some just sat there and held her, and others tried to distract her with various unrelated topics. Though none of it stopped the mini-film from playing in Dani’s mind, she still nodded and did her best to pay attention.
Then, when visiting hours ended and Dani made her way out of the hospital without Paula by her side, Dani almost broke. But she managed to keep it together. As she made her way to her car, she thought about going home with her parents, but when she went to say the words, all that came out was ‘I love you’. So they hopped into their separate cars and went their separate ways.
After a quick stop at a corner store, Dani entered her apartment, arms filled with snacks, ice cream, and Paula’s favorite, Russian vodka.
Abandoning her keys on the little table by the door, she nearly dropped all that she’d been carrying as she came face to face with the figure sitting on her couch.
“We’re not here to hurt you!” Said a voice, as two figures rose to their feet.
Flicking on the lights, Dani came face to face with The LaVine brothers.
What is it with the LaVine men showing up randomly at people’s houses? Anyways, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series. Where nearing the end, and not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think this series is some of my best work. If you agree, be sure to hit that star and maybe buy a cup of coffee. Anyways, thank you so much for read this series. This isn’t the end, but if you’ve made it this far, know that I appreciate you so much. Thank you-C