We rode in silence. The tension in the air was thick almost making it hard for me to breathe normally. I didn't have the courage to even look at him as I could feel the rage radiating off of his body. I just stared out of the window at the passing lights praying for him to understand what happened. All of the relief I had felt earlier at seeing him pull up was replaced by anxiety. Literally I felt sick.
"Alivia" His firm voice breaking the silence. I looked over at him. His face hard, and eyes unreadable. I began to wring my hands.
"I want you to tell me exactly happened. I want every detail. Do not think something is insignificant, tell me everything. Do you understand?" I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to answer but couldn't find my voice. I was nervous, I began to choke up and before I knew it I was crying all over the place. I covered my face with my hands embarrassed at my emotional outburst.
"Stop fucking crying and tell me what happened now!" I nodded and took a moment to collect myself. I began telling him about the text from Heather, about being ambushed with Jared and Kurt. I paused before telling him about Kurt being "handsy", finally deciding that I couldn't lie to him about what happened. I needed to tell the truth. I told him, noticing the way his jaw clenched and his grip tightened on the steering wheel. I gave him the play by play not leaving out one detail. When I was finished recanting the events of the evening I looked over at him, trying to gauge his reaction. He face was unchanged. He looked as if he was still trying to comprehend everything.
"Delaney, can I ask you a question?" He looked over at me
"What?" Now he was annoyed also. I was batting a thousand.
"How did you know where I was? I tried to call you but the call didn't connect and next thing I knew I saw your headlights come barreling down the road. How did you find me?"
"Your phone has GPS on it, I tracked you."
"What?! You track me? How did you even know I was in trouble?"
"I didn't know, I don't usually track you, you weren't home and you didn't tell me that you were going anywhere so I tracked you. Now that's enough fucking questions from you. Tell me the last names."
"Tell you what? Who's last name?"
"Jesus Christ, Alivia! Who's fucking last name do you think I want? Tell me his last name, and you friend, I want hers to."
"What are you going to do?" I asked unable to keep the fear out of my voice.
"You don't need to worry about that." His tone was final. I knew it meant no more questions. Reluctantly I told him. I don't know why I felt bad about it. It wasn't like he was going to really do anything to them. I mean Delaney was an executive not a hit man.
We pulled up to the house, and I jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped. I wanted to just run in, but something told me I needed to be "dismissed" by Delaney. He walked over to me and I was able to take him in. He was still dressed in his suit. Had come to find me before he even changed his clothes? Suddenly I felt myself longing to be in his arms, however something told me that wasn't in the cards for me tonight.
"Get inside and clean up, meet me in my office when you're finished. We have things to talk about" He wasn't yelling anymore, and his voice was calm. Suddenly I felt very sick inside. I preferred him when he was yelling.
I quickly showered put on some sweats and threw my hair up in a nappy wet bun. There was no need in postponing the inevitable. I wanted to get it over with.
I paused outside of his office, he was on the phone, his voice low. I couldn't make out what he was saying but I could tell he was angry. I stood in place wondering if I should wait until he was off of the phone or not. He must have sensed my presence because he abruptly ended the conversation and told me to come inside.
I walked in and found him pacing, still angry. It was strange to see his usual cool demeanor replaced by this.
"Listen, Delaney I'm really sorry. Please try to understand" I felt I needed to apologize hoping it would soften him.
"Let me tell you what I understand. I understand that you were in a bad situation, but I want you to understand that you put yourself there. There are no victims of circumstance none. You weighed the risk, and took it. You made a mistake, which could have very well turned into your last one. You had several opportunities to remove yourself from the situation and you didn't. Anything that happened to you after was your fault. Do you understand that?".
I nodded my heart in my throat.
He continued "There is something that we should have talked about when you came here to live, but I didn't know if it was necessary and now I do." He took a long pause. "Alivia, tell me what you know about your parents death."
I was taken aback by his question. What did my parents have to do with this?
"What you mean? Car accident, they were both dead on impact, why are you asking me about them." Tears sprang to my eyes, I tried to not think about them being dead because the reality that they weren't coming home was too much. Delaney's question took me off guard and I felt the tears coming.
"Before your parents died they were threated repeatedly. They had been receiving death threats for the two months before. Alivia, they weren't in a car accident, the car exploded as they started the engine. Someone killed them." Silence filled the room, and my head began to spin. I was going to pass out. Delaney reached for me to steady me, and lead me to the chair in front of his desk.
"Due to our line of work your dad asked me to look after you and your mom if something happened to him, and when the death threats started coming in your parents legally made me your guardian in their Will. We have been investigating their death since it happened and we will find the people responsible, but until then you need to be smarter than you were tonight. There is nothing showing you were ever a target, but there is a lot we don't know." He looked at me, genuinely concerned. "Ali, do you understand?"
"Line of work?" My head was spinning. What was he even saying to me?
"Let's just say there is a lot that you don't know either. Your father and I aren't advertising execs."
"What?, What are you?"
"That's another conversation for another time. I've given you a lot to process. I think it's enough for one night. We will talk more in the morning."
I got up, hurrying back to my room before the floodgates opened. I threw myself onto my bed sobbing. The pain I felt was indescribable. Like someone had ripped open a fresh wound and poured acid into it. Murdered? The term and my parents didn't belong together. I just let rush of grief have its way with me until I was out of tears and exhausted.
It didn't make them anymore dead. I had to think in those terms. My parents were gone, regardless how the fact remained they weren't coming home again, ever. I closed my eyes and prayed asking God to let them know how much I loved them.
Then my mind came back around to Delaney. I didn't know much about him before and now I felt as if I knew even less. What the fuck was going on.
The day had been too much, way too much for one person to deal with. I closed my eyes and surrendered to sleep.