Chapter 2: Finding a destination
"Nana, just listen, please."
"Your dad is not a bad person, Renee. He's a very well consumed man. Clean, Smart. What else could you ask for?"
"He hits Jodie, Nana!"
Nana sighed and shut her eyes. "Like mother, like daughter I suppose." She whispered.
I narrowed my eyes at her. "What is that supposed to mean?" I asked.
She shook her head. "What I mean is that your mom came over here spouting the same lie. Your dad would never do that. I raised him to be a gentlemen."
"Nana, are you even aware that he's not my real dad?"
"Of course I was aware of that."
My eyes widened. "Why is it that everyone knows this but me?"
Nana sighed. "Renee, there are some things in this world that will be covered up and that's because they have a less painful effect when they're being covered up."
"Needs to learn what's awaiting for her out in the unknown."
"Nana…I thought you'd see things from my point of view."
She placed her hands on my face and smiled. "Oh, I do, darling. I do. But all you have to do is stick through this and do not get in that man's way."
"What he wants."
"But what he wants is my sister and I'm not going to let that happen. My mom is scared out of her mind so there's nothing she can do about it."
"It's better that way. We don't want two family members getting hurt now do we?" She asked as she turned around and got some cups from the cabinet.
"I can't seem to find anyone who cares less about themselves. And more about their family." I said.
"Look at the world we live in, there's no such thing, beautiful. Now, do you want some lemonade?" She asked. I shook my head. "I want you to watch Jodie for a while. I'll be back by later."
"And where will you be off to?" She asked uninterested. "I have some…business to take care of. A lot of business."
Nana eyed me suspiciously. "Fine. I'll have to tell your dad that, though."
"Tell him what you want. I don't really care." I said.
Nana nodded. "Fine."
"I need to go see Dustin." I said.
Nana stared at me.
"Tell on me if you want." I turned and exited out of the kitchen and through the hallway to get to the guest room.
Jodie was laying down in comfortable pajamas watching sponge bob. I smiled at her. She hardly smiled back. "Jodie, I'll be back late. I need to go see Dustin."
She nodded. "Tell him I said hi."
I nodded. Then I walked closer. "You know what that is…right? Your period."
She didn't answer at first. "Yeah." She breathed.
I nodded. "Good. I'll be back so we can talk about it. Only if you want."
She shook her head. "I'm okay."
I bit my lip. "Okay." I said and then turned around and shut the door behind me.
I walked through the hallway, to the living room, to the door, opened it, and then slammed it shut.
I was nervous.
I needed to go talk to Dustin. My brother. He was in and out of prison. Big, buff, all muscle. Tattoo's filled his arms and one on his neck that said R.I.P. Jonah. Which was his eight year old son who died in a car accident.
Dustin wasn't hard to talk to but he always had a bad temper. Very bad temper.
I think beside Jodie, I was the only person in the family who really cared about him.
I walked over to his house which was five blocks away from where Nana lived. On his porch was him and his two friends. Adam and Rockey. I smiled at them and they waved at me.
Dustin stood up and walked down the stairs of the porch. His house was huge. I never knew what his job was but he was obviously doing it quite well.
"Hey." I said.
"What are you doing here?" He asked. He had dark brown eyes. Dark copper hair, tan skin, muscular body, straight nose and full lips.
"I need to talk to you…it's about Jodie."
His eyebrows furrowed. "Damn. What happened?"
"I need to get her out of here. Just…out. Away. But I…need some money."
Dustin paused. "Does mom know you're here?"
I shook my head. "She never wants me near you. Thinks I'm going to catch the need to go to jail as much as you do."
He shook his head. "Yeah well, mom is fuck-tarded." He reached inside of his pocket and produced a wad of cash. "Where you planning on going?" He asked.
"I don't know. Somewhere really, really, far away."
Dustin licked his lips and shrugged. "Alright." He placed the huge wad of money in my hand and I looked up at him. "Dustin I was just going to ask for a hundred dollars."
"Well now you have forty-nine thousand nine hundred more where that came from. Just take it and get you and my little sister the hell outta here."
"I can't take all this money."
"Don't be stupid." He said.
He shook his head and stepped back. "That's yours, sis. All yours. I owe you for being a shitty brother." He said.
I looked down at the money and then up to him, my vision blurred with tears. I hugged him which is something I haven't done since I was nine.
He hesitated but slowly wrapped his arms around me. "Take care of yourself, Re-Re. Okay?"
I nodded and sighed.
He kissed my hair and released me.
"Thank you." I whispered.
He nodded. "Keep in touch."
"I will." I said.
I slowly turned back and headed back down the street and stuffed the money in my pocket.
I spend the rest of the day trying exactly to decide what to do. Where to go and how to get there. My car was totaled because of one stupid drunk night. I vowed not to do it again.
When I finally made it back to Nana's place after telling my friends from school that I'm leaving and from Jodie's school that's she's leaving, I crept in.
It was almost night time but Jodie was still up. I heard the TV in the guest room still playing. I walked through the hall and got to her room.
She was sitting up and looked at me. "Where's Nana?" I asked.
I nodded. "We have to leave."
"Dad is going to hurt us if we do, Re." I shook my head. "I'll take the punishment if he catches us."
She hesitated. "We don't even have money."
"Dustin gave me fifty thousand dollars."
Her eyes almost looked as if they were about to pop out of their sockets. "Get ready so we can leave." I whispered. Jodie got up and started to gather her shoes and jacket. I decided to go get some pads and tampons out of the bathroom and some food for the road.
Whatever road we were going to take.
After carefully sneaking out, we made our way out onto the street carrying two back packs of the things we needed with us.
I knew with all the people that knew the man who I thought was my dad was going to find us eventually.
They do what he says.
I looked down at Jodie. I had to try and do this. This was all for her. Lanson never put his hands on me. It was always Jodie. It's always been Jodie.
Why though? Why don't he try and mess with me? Maybe because he knows I'm strong enough to fight it.
Jodie was strong too. In her own way though.
"Shit." I whispered.
Jodie stopped walking and looked over to me.
"I need to go to Club 11 and tell my boss and my co workers that I'm leaving."
Jodie nodded. "Okay."
I kissed her hair and then led her three blocks away from our house.
My boss, Eddie wasn't going to take this news too good. He always needed help at the club.
But I didn't really care this was being done for Jodie.
We turned the corner, the huge club stood at the end of the street. Dozens of cars parked outside.
The words CLUB 11 lit up in light blue and pink neon colors. I would tell Jodie to wait out here because the club wasn't a good place for her to be.
But I didn't want her out here alone. So I let her follow me. The inside was flashing blue intense lights. They almost hurted my eyes.
"Just stay with me." I said over the loud music playing.
Jodie nodded and followed me through the club until I got out to the bar where Larry, a close friend of mine was working. "Where's Eddie?" I asked.
"In the back." He answered. I nodded then looked down to Jodie. "Can my little sister go back there with you while I go talk to him?"
Larry nodded then looked to Jodie. "Want a sprite?"
She nodded and went behind the bar with him.
I trusted Larry.
I turned and walked upstairs down a dimly lit hallway and went to the end of it where a black door was. I turned the knob and opened the door and immediately walked back out. "Damnit." I whispered.
Eddie forced the door back open. "You really need to learn how to knock. You know I always have a girl in here. Anyway, what do you want?"
"I have to leave?"
"Where?" He asked.
"Are you coming back?"
I shook my head. I couldn't see why I would. All I needed was Jodie.
Eddie sighed. "Why?"
"Personal reasons, Eddie."
He licked his lips and shook his head. "If you say so, Renee."
"You mad?" I asked.
He nodded. "I'll miss you though. Take care of yourself, Renee. I'm serious."
I nodded. "I got it."
He pulled me into a hug. Great, he smelled like sex. "You too, Eddie." I said and then pulled away.
He nodded and I gave him a small smile before walking down the hall, back downstairs, where there were millions of people dancing.
It was going to be impossible to get back to the bar with all these people around. Jesus. I sighed in irritation I just wanted to leave.
The book bag was still on my back and it was heavy. This was the most embarrassing moment in the world.
"Excuse me." Said a voice. Surprisingly, I can hear it over the music. I turned and it was the guy from the other night who saved me from that weird dude. He smiled showing his dimples and I melted into a warm buttery puddle. "Hi, again."
"Hi." I said. He looked pass me to the backpack on my back. "You need a ride somewhere?"
"No thank you. I plan on getting far from here. I couldn't ask you for a ride."
"What, don't trust me?" He asked.
I shook my head. "In all honesty." I said.
He smirked. "Well I'll drop you off at a bus stop then."
"You don't have to-"
"Nonsense. You ready to go?" He asked. Was he really giving me a ride? I guess so.
"I have to get my little sister." I said.
He nodded and walked up, towering over me. He let the straps down over my shoulders in the most seductive way possible and grabbed the book bag from off my bag. "I'll put this in my car."
Then he smiled and walked the other way. What the hell?
This came out of nowhere.
But I turned and went to the bar to get Jodie who was laughing at something Larry said. Then she met eyes with me. "We have to go. A…friend of mine is going to take us to the bus stop."
"Bus stop? Where are you going?" Larry asked.
I shook my head and looked to Jodie who nodded as she stood up with her can pop in her hands.
"Bye Larry." She said.
He nodded and then looked to me. "Where you going, Renee?"
I shrugged. "Good question. I don't know." I looked down at Jodie and then back to Larry. "I'll call you sometime." I said.
Larry nodded. "Alright. You okay, though?"
I hesitated. But I didn't know rather or not I was really okay.
Was I? "For now." I answered and then grabbed Jodie's hand. I led her through the crowds of people to get to the back door.
The guy was leaning against a black Camaro. Smiling at us.
"Whose that?" Jodie asked.
"I told you, a friend." I kept my eyes on his face while Jodie was looking up at me. "What's his name?" She asked.
I shrugged and she gave me a weird look as I looked down at her.
"Just trust me." I whispered.
Jodie shrugged. "Okay, Re." She finally said. I smiled at her and pulled her forward with me towards the car. The guy looked at Jodie and smiled. "What's your name?" He asked her.
She looked at me before looking back at him. "Jodie." She answered.
He smiled. "Nice name." He opened the rear door and Jodie looked at me before slipping inside.
He then shut the door and gave me a smile showing off those sexy dimples. "And you."
He opened the door for me and I got in. He shut the door and then came around to the driver's side. He opened the door and got in.
"It would be much more simpler if you just came to my house to rest but if you want me to take you to the bus stop then…I'll do it."
"I'm sorry, the bus stop just seem like a much more safer bet."
He nodded. "I understand." He said and then sighed as he started the car up.
As we began down the road, I laid back and relaxed in the black leather seats and looked back at Jodie who was laying down on the seat. Then I looked to the guy. "What's your name?" I asked.
"What's yours?" He asked and glanced at me. His golden eyes twinkling. I'm sure my eyes were dilating with infatuation. Because that's exactly how I felt.
"Renee." I answered.
He smiled and nodded. "A.J." he said.
"What's that stand for?" I asked.
"Alan Jericho. Crazy name, I know."
"I like it." I said shrugging.
He smiled and looked to me. Then he looked back onto the road.
"It's really late, Renee. It would seriously be better if you came to my house tonight."
"I don't even know you good enough for that."
"Yet, you know me good enough to ride in my car. What's your real excuse?" He asked.
I swallowed and looked in the backseat. Jodie was fast asleep. "I don't know. I guess its hard for me to trust people. My family kind of made me grow up feeling that way and ever since…I don't know."
"Where are you going, anyway?" He asked.
I licked my lips and ran my fingers through my hair. "Have not a clue but I have to leave here."
"What's so bad about Wisconsin?"
"The people. My parents. My best friend's boyfriend. It's just too much. So I'm taking Jodie and leaving. It's the only smart thing to do. They won't miss us anyway."
He nodded. "Well it's your choice."
He turned the corner and there it was, the bus stop.
I suddenly dreaded getting out of the car and leaving him.
He stopped and parked the car and sighed deeply. His golden eyes looked over to me and he gave me a small smirk. "I don't think I wanna let you go, to be honest."
I bit my lip as he stared at me. His golden eyes looking into mine. "Why?" I asked.
He leaned over slightly. Not breaking eye contact. "I was just starting to like you."
My heart picked up as the words left his mouth. He was just starting to like me? My inner self grinned like an idiot. However, my outer self kept her cool.
But a small smile did appear on my face as I looked down at a small rip in my jeans. "Really?" I asked. Then I looked back to him.
"Prefer I show you?" He asked. He didn't let me answer as he slowly leaned over and placed his lips over mine.
I was no expert at this. Not at kissing because I never been kissed before.
So I just followed his lead. His lips parted mine and now I felt his tongue in my mouth, rubbing against mine and it alerted me. Yet at the same time, it…turned me on. And I could feel something warm spread throughout my body.
It made me moan under the kiss as he placed his hand in my hair and tugged lightly.
We were both in a sensual embrace that I didn't want to break. He tasted delicious. Very delicious. His tongue traced my bottom lip and then he tugged on it with his teeth and then began sucking on my top lip.
The assault was wanted, I didn't want to push him away. He was so good at what he was doing. He knew what he was doing.
He then pulled back and looked at me as he leaned back over into his seat.
We just watched each other in the darkness.
No, I didn't want to leave.
A.J. sighed. "Please let me take you back to my place so you and Jodie could rest and then I'll take you two back to this bus stop in the morning."
I looked back at Jodie who was sleeping peacefully across the seat. Then I looked at A.J.
Yeah, I wanted and needed to rest. But most of all, I wanted him. I wanted to be right beside him and to kiss him again.
I don't know. I never had this feeling or urge before to get so involved with someone I barely knew.
I mean he could be dangerous, but my inner self was telling me to do it.
My outer self knew this would be a trap and that whatever he is, he's dangerous. But damn did I want him.
"Okay." I finally whispered.