Disastrous (Disastrous 1) - Page 58

When all the air released from my lungs, I collapsed into the sofa, burying my face into my hands. The entire experience had been terrible. I just wanted to be locked in Marcus’ arms. What happened with Romeo? Why did he owe so much money? Aarrrgh! I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. At the sound of the door creaking, I snapped my head up in its direction. Romeo was standing a few feet away with a frozen steak to his eye. I glared at him, and he looked down mortified. “You, in the kitchen now …” I flew past him and headed to the kitchen. He followed, and I directed him to sit by the table.

Elle had had a few scratches and dents, so I knew the first aid kit was kept inside the pantry. I placed the open kit on the table, and he looked at me with his light brown eyes. Except for the eyes, he bore a striking resemblance to Marcus: the same olive skin, perfectly thick arched eyebrows, and model-like silky, dark hair. He was definitely gorgeous even with the bruises. Now that was closer, I was able to see a huge split from the middle of his forehead to the end of his eyebrow. It was about three inches in length and pretty deep. “Romeo, you’re going to need stitches.”

“No, I’m not going to the hospital … Can’t you stitch it together?”

“No! I wouldn’t even know how to … There are butterfly bandages here, I can use them, but if Marcus thinks you need a hospital, you have to go.” He nodded. I began the cleansing process. Before I could even nurse the cuts, I had to clean his face and wipe all the blood, just in case there were any open cuts I missed.

I cleaned all of the blood with a wet cloth and started to nurse the cut on his lips. I needed to steer my mind away from exploding. Not enjoying the silence, I began to question him. “What happened to you, Romeo?”

Shrugging, he hesitated before speaking. I wondered if he thought to tell me the truth. Then when he began, he spoke as if it was like a relief to get it all out. “Marcus warned me not get involved, but I didn’t listen. I figured I could use the extra money before school starts. I did a few runs for Lou. I delivered a few small packages to certain groups, collected the money, and brought it back to Lou. He’d give me a cut. Today, I had to deliver a package to a Russian cartel. They teased me, saying I was too pretty to be a runner. I didn’t like it, so I said a few words…” He’s more like Marcus than I thought. Since when does someone teasing you, give you the go-ahead to be cocky?

I brushed the cut on his forehead with an alcohol wipe. He sucked in air and winced. I bit my lip and apologized. Cautiously, I wiped his wound again. This time he pressed his lips together and shut his eyes. “So Lou didn’t do this to you?” I asked, continuing to nurse him.

His eyes shot open. “No, the Russians did. They took the package, and left me on the side of the road. When I was finally conscious, I found my way back to Lou. He said he would take care of the Russians, but the package was worth sixty grand. That’s when we came here.”

“You brought him here, Romeo?” I thought Lou brought Romeo here, knowing it was the other way around, upset me even more.

“I had no choice, Mia. He threatened to kill me, saying if I didn’t come up with the money, then…” We both jumped when the sound of the front door slamming alerted the room.

“Mia!” Marcus yelled my name from the front door.

“In the kitchen!” I shouted. Romeo straightened his shoulders, and his knee began to bounce nervously. I thought that was weird. Why would he be nervous? If anything he should be relieved Marcus was finally here.

Marcus stormed through the kitchen door. His shoulders were broad and rapidly moved up and down with his heavy breathing. His arms were slightly bent and secured on the side of his body. His hands were closed in tight fists, and the veins on his hands and arms were visibly seen from a distance. His face was red and damp with sweat. He glared at Romeo with an arched eyebrow and a straight face. This was the angriest I’d ever seen him. I just couldn’t understand why he was so upset with Romeo. Lou was the one that deserved the evil look. Within three steps Marcus was by us, pushing me aside; he leaned over Romeo, pressing his hand against the side of Romeo’s face.

Yelling from the top of his lungs, he let him have it. “What the fuck were you thinking?” One hard smack across Romeo’s face forced him slightly off his chair. I jumped.

“Marcus!” I breathed, shocked by his behavior. What’s gotten into him?

He ignored me and continued to grill Romeo. “Huh?” Romeo lowered his head and began to cry.

“I’m sorry…” Romeo choked.

“You’re sorry? You’re sorry! I told you, Rome! I fucking told you to stay away from this shit…but you wouldn’t fucking listen, would you? Then you bring him to my house! Where my niece and my girl stay?” Veins popped out of his forehead and neck as he poked his middle and index finger into Romeo’s forehead with each word, “HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID!” Marcus yelled the last insulting word so loudly spit flew all over the place.

Sniffing a few times, Romeo tried to control his weeping. “I promise I’ll pay you back every dime.”

Marcus leaned up, pressing his hands on his hips. “Pay me back? It’s not about the money, Rome!” His arms flew wildly in front of him. After a few seconds of silence, he placed his hands back on his hips. “I didn’t want you in this shit …” Marcus lowered his head and brought one hand up to his forehead, rubbing small circular motions with his fingertips. It calmed him a bit, and he lowered his tone. “Do you want to end up like your brother? Like my father …”

Romeo burst into hard sobs, shaking his head. His body began to tremble with his cries. “No!” He moaned.

It felt like forever before Marcus spoke again. He stood over Romeo, watching him break. I was a mess in quiet tears by the island, watching the entire episode, stunned. Finally Marcus kneeled before Romeo. Sighing heavily, he looked up at him. “I spoke to Lou, you’re out … he’s not giving you any more work. I need you to promise me that you’ll focus on school and live life the way you’re supposed to live it. If you can promise that, we’re even. Can you do that?”

Romeo nodded.

“Okay, I can’t send you home like this. I’ll call your mom and tell her you’re staying with me for a couple weeks. I’ll make up some shit about shadowing me at the firm. Take the room on the third floor and get yourself cleaned up.”

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