“Oh my God,” I whisper as my heart breaks for her. “I know that you’re torn about getting involved, but you should call him.”
“I know, love.”
He lays his forehead against mine and his hand over my stomach before lifting his head and kissing me. Then he adjusts me in his lap and picks up the phone, dialing a number then putting the phone to his ear.
“I was told you need to speak with me,” he says, and I’m surprised by the coldness in his voice after the moment we just had. “I’m sorry about your situation, but—” he replies after a moment then is quiet again for a few seconds.
“You’re putting me in a very bad position,” he growls. Then his hand around me tightens even further before he snarls, “Kill every single motherfucker who even thought about hurting her.”
I know he’s talking about me when he says those words.
“I’ll make the call, but you owe me,” he replies, and I look at him, wondering why he would say that. His voice softens when he says, “I’m very sorry about what happened,” before hanging up. “I have to go to Vegas,” he tells me.
His nostrils flare, and he pulls me tighter against his body. “I know this is the place you feel the safest, but I need you to come with me.”
“Of course,” I assure him, sounding much braver than I feel.
“Nothing will happen to you. You have my word.”
“I know,” I whisper, wrapping myself tighter around him.
“This will not always be our life. I promise you,” he vows.
“How did this become your life?” I ask softly, pulling away so I can see his face.
He exhales, lifts me off him to stand, and then takes my hand and begins leading me out of his office. I think he’s taking me to bed, but instead, he leads me outside, down to one of the loungers that is set up near the water, and sits before pulling me to sit down between his legs.
“My family was involved with the mob since my great-grandfather first moved to America from Fiji. He started a business in Hawaii and knew that, if he wanted it to expand, then he would need people with money to back him. This was not easy. No one wanted to take a chance on him, and no one believed that his business would take off, but then one day, a man came to him with an offer. He would help him if my great-grandfather would, in return, do him a favor. Every month, he would receive a shipment, and that shipment would contain drugs or other items that would be distributed in the black market in Hawaii. My great-grandfather agreed, thinking his hands were clean and that, if anything ever came to light, he could say he was in no way involved.
“After a year, he got greedy and decided to begin moving some of his own items. Five years in, he was one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. It was around that time that he met a young socialite, fell instantly in love with her, and demanded that she marry him.”
I smile and shake my head.
“She made him realize what was really important, and he started becoming concerned with his business. He could no longer say that his hands were clean, so he began cutting his supplies down and trimming back on orders.
“He and my great-grandmother were married in a private ceremony on the beach, and nine months after they said their vows, my grandfather was born. He believed he had everything he could ever want. The day he went to pick up his wife and son from the hospital, his wife was murdered.”
“No,” I whisper.
“After that, my great-grandfather lost all hope and began doing everything within his power to take over and get rid of the men involved in killing his wife. He vowed that, one day, he would take control of all of them and then crush them. I ulu no ka l?l? i ke kumu.”
“What does that mean?” I ask as his fingers slide away my tears.
“The branches grow because of the trunk.” He tilts my head so that our gazes connect. “He died before his wish could be realized. My grandfather, father, and now I have become stronger than they are, and we have been slowly cutting their supplies, making them turn against each other. One day, they will fall, and I will be the only one standing.”
I pray that he is right, that, when this is all over, we will all be standing. “I’m scared,” I say, vocalizing my fear.
“A lot of thought has gone into this, Myla. This is not something that will just happen. This is something that has been planned for years. I will not say it’s easy to do, but every day, we’re one step closer.”
He moves and helps me lie down next to him with my head in the crook of his arm and his hand resting on my belly. We lie there in silence, looking up at the night sky, then watch as the sun rises up over the ocean, and only then does he take me inside and climb into bed with me.
“We’re landing,” Kai tells me, kissing my hair.
I lift my head, look around the plane, and feel lighter. After Kai told his mom and dad what was going on, they insisted they come with us to Vegas.
We didn’t know how long we would be in Vegas, so having them with us puts my mind at ease. I also think Kai was relieved that his dad would be with his mom and me, someone he trusted completely, since, from what I understand, most of my time would be spent at the house while Kai takes care of business.
It takes another ten minutes for the plane to land. As soon as we touch down, Kai is up and getting a bag down from the overhead compartment, which he sets on the seat he was sitting in, and opens it up, pulling out some leather and slipping it on like a vest. I notice that it has a holster for a gun under one arm and then a place for a knife under the other. Once he has the holster in place, he pulls a large knife out of the bag then a gun, and he clicks them both in place. He then reaches up, pulls his suit jacket down, and pulls it on, hiding away the weapons.
“Do you always carry weapons like that?” I ask as the feeling of unease comes back.
His eyes come to me and go soft as he squats down in front of me. “I don’t plan on anything happening, but I need to be cautious.”
“Cautious is good.”
He smiles and leans in to touch his forehead to mine. “You guys are my life, and I would die before something ever happens to either of you,” he says as his hand comes up to hold my cheek.
“Don’t say that,” I whisper.
He grunts and presses a kiss to my forehead then lips. “I want you to stick close to Pika when I’m not around.”
“I will,” I say as everyone on the plane begins to stand and retrieve their things from the overhead bins.