Ah! I shouted for the umpteenth time as I was thrown on the mat yet again by this man who claimed to be Ciceros, right-hand man. Shouldn you lose to me since Im the one paying your salary?
Jaden tightened his Judo uniform belt and said, You were the one who told me to give it my best when we
I sat up taking deep breaths. Practicing? This looked like as if we were competing in nationals! My voice cracked at the end. All I could think about was cursing River. I spent ten bloody years under him and not once could I beat Jaden. Forget about beating him, hes been throwing me around as a toddler does to his teddy bear!
If you want to beat Rifle then you gotta be stronger than him. Jaden said with a straight face. I want to tell him about my ten years with River in his secret school but I bite my lip hard that it spills blood. Shit! What are you doing? Jaden sat down and inspected my lower lip. I blinked at him, concerned.
Its nothing. I said and moved his hand away with my hand. Didn you say I had to learn how to work a gun?
He got up and forwarded a hand to me. Come with me. I got up on my own and walked out of the large room which I was told was used by our family members for work out. Basically, it was a gym. But they wanted to sound more authoritative and exclusive so they made sure I knew no one else was to be invited in here. Technically I was Damian, so an outsider was already in their gym. I wanted to find out how Dad Kavinsky would react to this.
Jaden took me to the indoor shooting range and the first thing I ask is, Theres an outdoor shooting range as well?
He simply nodded. Why are you acting like a pauper whos been invited to a one-day tour of this mansion?
Did I ask something wrong?
I don know! Youve been acting weird as if you were some poor soul or something. He was annoyed I get it but did he really have to call me poor? My dad worked day and night in the bank and earned money to get food on the table. We weren in the riches but we weren in the low tides as well. There were times when I had to wear hand-me-downs of Asher and I wouldn refute the fact that it made me feel a certain amount of dislike for him. But even after everything, we managed to pass off as a middle-class family. So seeing a mansion this big where theres nothing but shiny stuff all around, I do get lost in temptation and awe.
e doing it again. Jaden said bringing my attention back to him.
Im doing what? I asked.
Getting lost in your thoughts, thats what you are doing. Stop it!
I scoffed. Why are you so annoyed?
Shouldn I be? The man that Ive been working for is losing his mind. If not me then who is going to worry Cicero! He closed his eyes and rested his head on the glass through which I could see the targets.
I had an idea why he was worried about me. It was very simple. Once a mafia head dies, people who work for him die too. He was worried about his defeat along with mine. I kept a hand on his shoulder and said, Listen, I will try my best to regain my memories.
He nodded and composed himself. Sorry, the accident didn go down well with me. I eyed him carefully. Why was he so hung up on the accident when Ciceros own father didn care much? Was it guilt? Did he leak the information about Ciceros arrival?
We started the training and I have to tell you it was literally the most uncomfortable thing I had to do ever since I came to this house. Jaden was holding each of my hands with his while I aimed at the target with Ciceros gun. That reminded me! Did I not carry this gun everywhere with me? Because if Cicero took the gun with him then it shouldve been with him, I mean me, and not in their arms closet.
I took the gun from the accident scene before the police could get hold of it. Jaden said. I could feel his breath on my cheek and I was trying very hard to ignore it. Why was he trying to be so close to me?
When I tried to move away from him, he held me more firmly and asked me to shoot. Aim at the target and go for it. I gulped and did as he asked. Of course, I missed it. Again. He said and I did as asked. This kept on going until I was tired of him holding me captive.
I finally asked him, Jaden, be honest, do you have feelings for me?
The moment his mind registered what Id asked, he pushed me away and scoffed. What in the hell are you saying? Who feels for whom? His eyes and mouth were forming a perfect circle now.
Youve been trying to get close to me so I thought…
Thought what?! How else do I teach you to fire a gun when all youve been doing is act like a novice?
Why are you shouting?
He said, Just to be clear, I have no feelings for you. I am worried because my familys life depends on you. If you
e not to your old self and take the reign of the Kavinsky family from your father, the first one to be eliminated after you lose will be my family, all of them.
I had no clue things were so serious for him. Since no one liked Cicero here, Jaden being on his side wouldve made things difficult for the latter.
Sorry I misunderstood. Ill keep my mind on learning how to fire now. I said and got back to aim at the target.
Hours later, completely spent, we came out of the shooting range only to bump into Rifle. He whistled and checked out Jaden from head to toe. Hey minion, hows life? He asked and Jaden ignored him.
All these years I rediscovered myself not to see someone else getting bullied in front of me. So I said, Leave him alone Rifle.
Ciceros step-brother looked at me with amusement as if he wasn expecting me to speak up. Are you learning to raise your voice too, dear brother? When I didn respond he continued, Its good because I would prefer to compete and win against the older Cicero. That would be so much fun.
I stared into his eyes and said, To even dream of winning, first you would need to get your head out of your ass, little brother. I heard Jaden sniffle a laugh. Rifle clenched his teeth and went inside to practice. He couldn do anything to me openly, this was clear. I was attacked by him when I was sleeping, occupied in my dream. That is when he took me to my surprise and made me inhale the mint scent from the leaves.
Five days, all weve got, until the politicians party. Do you think you can make me learn well until then? I asked Jaden when we were back in my room.
With a simple nod, he said, If you keep your mind focused then yes I can.
What will I do once I get there? I mean what are we dealing in and how do I do it? I asked him.
The politician has a lot of black money which he wants to be turned into white. Jaden started to explain.
But I interrupted him. He can do it directly. Why does he need us?
If he does it himself someone will catch him. Feds, police, and rivals all have eyes on him.
Wouldn we be caught then too? How do we escape their eyes? I asked.
Jaden answered and explained everything this time without me interfering with him. After listening to everything I was dumbfounded. These kinds of things were going on in this world and I had no clue about it! Was I living in a shell all this time?
And Im supposed to handle this deal that too in a limited time? He nodded.
That is why you need to be prepared for any unforeseen situation. This cannot go down. Your father will cut your head off and hang it on the front lawns. Not to mention Rifle will automatically become the heir of your father and this family.
I laughed nervously. And here I thought grading papers in a day was tough.
Grading papers? Jaden asked in confusion.
I shook my head. No, nothing. My head is spinning again. Will you let me rest for now?
Sure. See you at dinner. He said and left, closing the door behind him.
Cicero, are you out there somewhere? I know you are. I was asking him inside my mind. Please come back soon or Im going to die here trying to be you.
My eyes closed and I dozed off. Damian, are you there?
Who is it? I asked groggily.
Keep holding on. Ill never let anyone hurt you.
Cicero, is that you? I opened my eyes and sat up immediately, only to find myself in the room alone.
Overwhelmed I began to cry. Tears were streaming down my cheeks and the only wish I had was for the dream to be real. Now all there was left to do was wait. Wait until four more days were gone and I could escape this place forever, to find Cicero and unite him with his body. Even if it meant losing myself forever.
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