I press my lips together to keep from laughing and nod my head once. Then I help him the rest of the way out to the car. No way would I tell Kai about this. I could only imagine his reaction.
As soon as I get off the plane in Vegas, I head to the car that is waiting for me. Frank Jr., my uncle’s son, is standing outside with his arms crossed over his chest and a look of displeasure on his face. He looks just like my uncle, but where Frank Sr. is slightly crazy, Junior is serious and has been my right arm since I was just a little kid.
“Brother,” he rumbles, greeting me with a handshake and a half hug.
“How’s it going?”
“Could be better, but then you know that or you wouldn’t be here,” he says.
“Did you get in touch with Rosenblum?” I ask him, opening the back door to the car and tossing my bag inside before heading to the driver’s seat.
“He’s meeting us there,” he mutters once we’re both seated.
I start the car but pull my phone out of my pocket, sending a quick text to Aye to let him know that I’m on the ground and ask him what Myla’s doing. His text of, Good. She’s in the kitchen baking, comes in almost immediately. I ease back in my seat, put the car in drive, and head for the police station downtown.
“My dad phoned this afternoon when you were in the air. Said he got shot today,” Junior says nonchalantly.
My eyebrows pull together. If something happened, I would have been notified at the time.
“Did he shoot himself?” I half joke.
“Said your wife shot him.”
I slam on the brakes, look over at my cousin, and pull my phone out, dialing my uncle’s number before putting it to my ear.
“You land?” he asks on the first ring, sounding normal.
“About ten minutes ago.”
“Good. Myla’s safe and in my direct line of vision. I will keep you up to date on her whereabouts.”
I grit my teeth and growl, “Heard you got shot today.”
“Dammit, woman. I told you not to tell him you shot me,” he complains.
I hear Myla in the background reply, “I haven’t even talked to him!”
“How the fuck did Myla shoot you, Frank?” I bark.
“She wanted to learn how to shoot a gun,” he says, and I hear Myla ask him what I’m saying.
“Goddammit, Frank! What the fuck were you thinking?” I holler.
“How was I supposed to know she was such a bad shot?” he protests.
“I’m going to kill you, Frank. Swear to Christ, when I get home, I’m going to kill you.”
“Hey, now. I should be the one complaining. After all, I did get shot today.”
“Where’s Aye?” I demand, and the phone goes quiet for a moment.
“You don’t even have to say it,” Aye sighs.
“Apparently, I do. What the fuck were you guys doing?”
“Frank said it would be good for Myla to learn how to shoot, she agreed, and I agreed with them. The plan was good, man. Just the situation got fucked up.”
“Do not…under any circumstance…leave Myla in Frank’s care. You got me?”
“You know I wouldn’t,” he assures me.
“Good. Now, how bad was he hurt?”
“Grazed,” he whispers, and I can only imagine my uncle eating that shit up like it was a near-fatal wound.
“Put Myla on.”
“Hello,” she says softly.
“No guns, makamae,” I tell her firmly and hear her move around for a moment.
Then her soft, sweet voice slides down the line, wrapping around me. “I thought it would be good to know how to use a gun…just in case.”
“If you still feel that way when I get home, I will teach you how to use one safely,” I promise.
“Don’t be mad at Uncle Frank. He was just trying to help.”
“You shot him, which means you could have shot yourself, so he may have been trying to help, but he wasn’t thinking clearly.”
“In all fairness, I didn’t know the gun was going to jump like it did,” she confides.
I do not even want to imagine the kind of gun she was using that would jump the way she described. “No more guns.”
“No more guns,” she repeats. “Love you,” she whispers after a moment.
I let those two words wash over me before replying just as quietly. “You too, makamae. Be good, and I’ll call you when I can.”
“Promise,” she says before I click the phone off.
“I’m going to kill your dad one of these days,” I tell my cousin.
“He tries.” He shakes his head.
“True,” he mumbles.
My uncle is a good man, but fuck if he isn’t constantly causing drama. I stop at a red light and rub my hands over my face, thinking about everything that has happened and the battle I still have on my hands.
“Good,” I say, telling him the truth. She has put everything in prospective for me, and I know that, one day, when we’re sitting on the beach, watching our babies play in the ocean, I will look back on these times and know that all the bullshit I had to deal with was worth it.
“So, you guys are for real?”
I look over at my cousin, a man I love like my brother, and speak the only truth I know. “There was never a time when it wasn’t real. Even when I was fighting it, I still knew I would fight for it.”
He grunts and shakes his head as the light turns green and I take off again.
Once we arrive at the police station, I see Richard Rosenblum, my attorney, standing near the front doors with his phone to his ear. We park, get out of the car, and head up the stairs.
“Just got off the phone with Judge Connell and explained that they have been keeping a client here without any explanation. He said he would be calling the chief now, so hopefully, by the time we get up there, they will have this shit sorted out.”
“Nice to see you too, Rich,” I mutter, but I feel my lips twitch. Rich, and his father before him, has worked with my family since I can remember.
“Yeah, yeah. We can catch up with a beer after we get your man out.” He smiles as Junior opens the door and we all walk inside. Rich leads us to an elevator, then up another set of stairs, and into a large waiting room. “Wait here,” he tells us.
I nod and watch him go to the desk and begin talking to the woman sitting there. When she picks up the phone, he shakes his head and says something that has her sitting up a little taller and glaring at him. I watch her mouth move but can’t make out any words as she speaks to someone on the line before hanging up and saying something to Rich. He shakes his head and walks back over to us.