Each and every one of his words causes pain to expand in my chest. The only person I have ever spoken to about what happened was my therapist in college. But I know I need to open up to Kai. He deserves to understand, and it’s not fair for me to keep even the darkest parts of my life from him.
“Please,” he whispers sounding completely gutted.
“Will you lie with me?”
He nods and slips his clothes off before getting into bed with me. He wraps himself around me, and that feeling of safety gives me the courage I need. I swallow and squeeze my eyes closed. I hate that this is something I have to share with him. I don’t want what Thad did to me to taint what we have. I open my eyes and look up at him.
“My life was amazing growing up. I know my real parents suffered, but they did give me to a family who loved me and wanted me.”
His face goes soft, and his hand runs over my hair and down my back, pulling me closer.
“Did you know that my mom couldn’t have more kids?” I ask.
He shakes his head no, and I continue.
“She and my dad had tried for more kids after having Rory and Thad, but it just never happened, so she gave up, just happy to have them. Then my dad came to her one day after talking with my father, and he told her about me and the situation with my parents.” I pause and let out a breath. “She said yes immediately. She was excited to have another child, and even more excited to be getting a daughter. My life was good. There was never a time that I felt like I wasn’t wanted or like they didn’t love me,” I stress, wanting him to know that this wasn’t my parents’ fault. None of this was their fault. They were victims as much as I was.
“I get that, Myla.”
I take a breath and let it out slowly, gathering the courage to say what I have to say next. “On my sixteenth birthday, my mom and dad took me and a group of my girlfriends out to dinner. Birthdays were always a big deal, but it was a school night, and I wouldn’t be having my party until the weekend, so they wanted to do something small until my party.” I lift my hand, tracing his lower lip. “I remember having so much fun that night. My friends and I were all boy-crazy at that point, and my dad was always a good sport, joking that he would invite whatever boy was near over to our table and introduce us to him. My dad was the best. Still is.”
“He’s a good man,” he agrees, and I snuggle closer to him.
“That was the night my life changed…or life as I knew it, rather. When we got home, I went upstairs to my room, did my homework, and then went about getting ready for bed. My brother Rory came in and told me about some game he was going to be in that Friday and made sure I knew what was happening for the weekend. We had all the same friends, so my birthday party was going to end up being more than just the girls I hung out with. I was excited to have my first boy/girl party, and Rory was just as excited because he had a crush on one of my friends at the time.
“Not long after he left, my mom and dad came in and kissed me goodnight like they had always done. I was lying in bed thinking about how awesome my day had been when the door opened and a small beam of light shone in, only showing the outline of a figure. I wasn’t even afraid.” I feel tears fill my eyes and I rub my face against his chest.
“Thad came in, closing the door behind him, causing pitch blackness to fall over the room. I wasn’t even worried that he didn’t answer when I called his name, and I didn’t even think to be nervous when he came and sat down on the bed next to me.” I whisper the last part.
“Stop!” he thunders, making me jump.
But I don’t quit. I can’t. I need him to understand.
“He raped me for three years,” I whisper. “It wasn’t every night, but it was often.”
“He’s dead. I’m going to fucking rip off his dick and feed it to him. I swear to Christ, he will not be alive long.”
“He told me he would kill my parents if I told them, and I believed him. I hated it, but I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I was alone.” I sit up and pull away until my back hits the headboard. “I stopped doing well in school. I stopped caring about life in general. All I wanted to do was get away. That’s why, when I got accepted into culinary school, I took it and ran.”
“I wish I would have known then,” he growls.
“No one knew. I was worried about him killing the only people I considered family, two kind people who had accepted me with open arms into their family. I hated it, every second of it,” I cry, covering my face with my hands.
“Come here, makamae,” Kai says, pulling my hands away from my face and tugging me into his chest.
Even though he’s comforting me, I can feel that every muscle in his body is taut, like he’s preparing for battle.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I just couldn’t, no matter how many times I tried to convince myself to,” I whisper.
“I know now,” he whispers back as his hand at the back of my head travels down over my hair and to my back so that he can pull me closer to him. After a few minutes, he pulls my face away from his chest and tilts my head back to look at me. “I’m going to go get Mom so that she can stay with you while I’m gone,” he says.
My body instantly stills. “Where are you going?” I breathe out in a panic.
“I’ll be back.” He evades my question as I attempt to cling tighter to him. “I have to go, makamae. I’ll be back. I promise.” He kisses my hair then pulls me off him as I struggle to keep ahold of him. He walks to the door, leaving me on the bed sobbing.
A few minutes later, his mom comes in, crawls into bed with me, and holds me until I cry myself to sleep.
“Get up and get dressed.” I kick Aye’s bed then walk across the hall and do the same to Pika’s.
It takes two minutes for them to come out of their rooms dressed and ready to go. I knew in my gut what was going on with Myla, but I didn’t want to believe that something so fucking horrific could have happened to my beautiful girl.
“What’s going on?” Pika is the first to ask as he tucks his gun into the back of his jeans.
“I need you two to help me track down Thad.”
“What happened?” Aye asks, but when my eyes meet Pika’s, I see understanding.
“We’ll talk in the car,” I mutter, heading towards the front of the house.
I know where Thad was a few hours ago when I saw him, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to get him while I can. And since he has been hanging out with Paulie Jr., there’s a good chance he would hide him away if he found out I was looking for him.