I reach for her hand and bring it to my face. “You should have called. I would’ve come home.”
She finally opens her eyes and turns her head towards me. “You haven’t been anywhere but school in weeks. When you’re at home, you’re either taking care of me or watching Pebbles. With Pebbles spending the day with her mom, I wanted you to have some fun. I wasn’t going to ruin your day.”
“You could never ruin anything.”
She lets out a shaky laugh. “You won’t say that when you see the mess I made in the bathroom.” A look of shame crosses her face before she whispers out. “I’m sorry, but I just didn’t have the strength to clean it up.”
“I don’t mind. I’ll get it for you.”
She pulls her hand back and rubs it across my cheek before letting it drop back on the bed. “I just hate that you have to do all this for me. I’m the mom. I supposed to be taking care of you.”
“I don’t mind it at all. I’d do anything for you. Don’t you realize how much I love you?”
“I know you do, Jenna. I love you too, sweetie.” With those words, she closes her eyes. Minutes later, she falls asleep. I sit with her, until I know she’s completely asleep, before I make my way to her bathroom and start cleaning.
By the time I’m done cleaning, I’m sweaty and smell like vomit, but I don’t mind. I would do anything for Mindy. I quietly make my way out of her bedroom, and am surprised to see Timber leaning up against the wall. “I thought you went home,” I whisper.
“I couldn’t leave you alone,” he says, pushing off the wall and wrapping his arms around me.
As soon as I feel his touch, I break into tears. He bends down and hooks his arms under my knees, then picks me up and carries me to the couch. Once he’s settled in beside me, I bury my face into his neck and cry myself to sleep.
I’m staring out the window, wondering why I haven’t called Jenna for the last month. For some reason, I keep avoiding picking up the phone. Our last conversation pissed me the fuck off. She’s spending way too much time with Timber. I can tell they’re getting close, and I don’t like it one fucking bit. Jealousy is an emotion I’m not accustomed to, and it’s one I don’t like at all.
Last time I called her, she was telling me about him taking her swimming at the strip pits in Amoret. The thought of him seeing her in a bathing suit made me fucking furious, yet the sound of her excitement when she was telling me about their time together made me sad. I was glad she was finally getting to have a little fun, but I hated that it was with someone other than me.
Being away from Jenna has been a good thing. I haven’t been thinking been about her every minute of every fucking day. She still crosses my mind more than she should, but I’ve been too busy to dwell on what that means. I’m just hoping my time here breaks whatever hold she has on me.
“Whatcha thinking about, babe?” Sarah says as she walks to me and wraps her arms around my waist.
“Nothing important.” I lower my mouth to hers, trying to wash away my thoughts of Jenna. Sarah’s a good woman; one of the best I’ve ever met. I didn’t think I’d ever find someone like her, especially here. Even as great as she is, she still can’t take away my fantasies of Jenna. I hate what Rig did to her, but here I am thinking along the same line. There’s no fucking way I would ever rape or beat her, but I have to wonder if wanting a seventeen year old in my bed is any better.
“Whatcha got planned today?” She asks.
I shake my head. “Club business. Nothing I can tell you about.”
“Got time to join me back in bed before you go?”
I’m just about to agree when my phone rings. I stick a finger up. “Hold that thought.”
I look down to the phone and see Jenna’s name flash across the screen. This is the first time she’s ever called me, so I know something’s wrong. I immediately take a step back from Sarah and place the phone to my ear. “What’s up, baby girl?”
“She’s dying,” Jenna says, between sobs.
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Mindy’s going to die.”
I take a deep breath and close my eyes, doing my best to hold my pain in. “Again Jenna, what the fuck are you talking about?”
“I’m not supposed to tell you, but I’m scared.”
Anger courses through me. “What the fuck do you mean, you’re not supposed to tell me?”
“Gun doesn’t want you to know. He says you got shit to do, and there’s nothing you can do to help Mindy.”
Motherfucker! My Pop is a damn bastard. “Tell me what’s going on. I thought Mindy was doing okay.”
Her crying becomes louder before she says. “I don’t know everything. I just heard her talking to someone at the funeral home yesterday. She was planning her own funeral. Who plans their own funeral?”
Bile starts to make its way up my throat as I say. “I don’t know, baby girl. Knowing Mindy, she’s probably trying to make things easier for you and Chipper.”
“It doesn’t matter what she does. Nothing’s going to be easy about losing her. I love her so much. I can’t lose her,” she finishes on a whisper.
“I know, baby girl.”
“I’ve been so scared, so afraid, and I needed you really bad, but you never called. Why didn’t you call, Kidd?”
I close my eyes again, trying to block out the pain of my own betrayal. I was so caught up in trying to avoid my feelings for her that I left her alone when she needed me the most. “I’m sorry, Jenna. I’ve been busy, but I should’ve made time.”
I hear murmured voices before she whispers. “I gotta go. Your Pop’s here. If he finds out I’m talking to you, he’ll be pissed.”
She doesn’t even take the time to say goodbye before hanging up. When I hear the line go dead, I toss the phone on the bed and shout, “Fuck!”
“Was that Jenna, babe?” Sarah asks quietly. She knows about Jenna. I couldn’t help talking about my girl. Most of the time, it’s just me relaying silly shit she’s been doing, but sometimes it’s me telling Sarah how much I miss my baby girl. I always make sure to tell her that Jenna is like a little sister, but Sarah’s not an ignorant bitch. She has to know it’s more than that.
She hasn’t really said much about Jenna. In fact, this is the first time she’s ever even said her name, but she knows how Jenna came to the club. She heard about that shit going down before I even got here. She also knows how important Jenna is to me and my family. Every time I’ve brought my baby girl up, Sarah just smiles and listens. But there is something in her eyes, a spark of jealousy that I don’t like.
“Yeah, I need to try and finish shit here and get home as soon as I can.” I say, getting up and walking to the door.
“When it’s time for you to leave, do you think I could come with you?” she asks quietly.
After hearing Jenna just now, I don’t know if I should bring Sarah home. There’s just too much shit going on. If Mindy’s dying, it should be just the family, not some stow away. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”
“Please, Kidd. I don’t want to be thrown back to these boys here. You know they won’t go gentle on me.”
She’s right. Some of the brothers were pissed that I chose Sarah. They were even madder when I told them I didn’t share. They’ve been chomping at the bit to get to her, so gentle will be the last thing they’d give her. “You can come, but you got to know that I’m not sure this thing we got going on will last long after I get home.”
She shrugs. “We can just see what happens when we get there.”
“Yeah, babe,” I say walking out.
After nearly a year away, I’m finally home, but not because the shit is fixed in Mateland; not even fucking close. That’s a dream that may never come true. Those fuckers are so screwed up, I’m not sure anyone can fix it. My only hope is Brew, the current VP, will continue where I left off and get everyone’s ass in line.
The reason I’m heading home is because of Mindy. She’s dying. Fucking cancer. I swear even the thought of that word makes me want to throw up. She’s been going through treatment for nearly a year, but nothing has helped. If anything, it’s just made her sicker. Last week, the doctor finally laid it out for her and Chipper. She can continue chemo and she might have two more months, but she would be sicker than hell for every day of those two months, or stop treatment and maybe live a couple more weeks. If she’s lucky, she’ll still be weak, but nothing like when she’s taking treatment.