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🧏 Blame It On The Pain SIXTY SIX:
A few moments later Momma and Shelby hug everyone goodbye. Jackson didn't want to leave but when he heard that I was going back to my own apartment and not his, he said he'd be back later.
The four of us walk down the hallways in a clusterfk of awkwardness. Lou-Lou and I walk side by side huddled up together, the tension between her and Ricardo and Jackson and me is so visible that even the nurses stop and give our group strange looks.
“You need a ride back to your apartment, right?” Lou-Lou says after we walk out of the elevator and make our way toward the parking garage. Fortunately, Ricardo and Jackson went out a different way.
“Yeah, if you wouldn't mind. I'd really appreciate it.”
Far behind us, I hear both Ricardo and Jackson's footsteps.
Lou-Lou and I exchange a glance wondering why they're still following us, but we soon find out when we look over our shoulders and Ricardo tosses his keys in the air before Jackson catches them.
“Don't wreck my baby,” he warns.
“I won't. I appreciate the favor.”
“You owe me,” he says before he begins walking closer to Lou-Lou at the same time Jackson walks closer to me.
“Oh, sht,” Lou-Lou whispers.
“Alyssa, I suggest that if you don't want to be manhandled by Jackson—you start running, now.”
She doesn't have to tell me twice. I start running like there's a fire up my as s. I have no idea where I'm running, I just know that I'm toast if Jackson gets his hands on me. Especially knowing what I know now about him.
I'm not in the least bit turned on like I was during our last cat and mouse game at the bar. My brain and my body are fully aware that this is for survival. I'm sprinting so fast I'm surprising myself.
However, I'm still no match against Jackson. In a flash, his arm wraps around my waist and his large hand covers my mouth so I can't scream as he drags me in the direction of some red Mustang.
In the distance, I see Ricardo doing the same thing to Lou-Lou; only he's shouting, “Give me your keys,” in a dark tone that makes me incredibly nervous for her.
Then I have that moment, that moment where I say to myself— ‘Fk this sht.'
I'm not letting him manhandle me. He's not taking me out of this parking garage without a fi ght.
I start kicking my legs and twisting as hard as I can against him. I even go as far as to b!te his hand which causes him to cusse.
Then I go limp and will my body to become a ferret. This way, I'll be able to slinky myself right out of his hold.
He seems to sense what I'm doing because he gives me a sinister laugh and says, “Nice try, Damsel.”
The fact that he's using that name with me again makes me so mad I lift my head and spit in his face.
That's when he lifts me up and puts me right over his shoulder. “Why don't we save the exchange of bodily fluids for after we get home, baby?”
I grunt and smack my hand against his back. “I'm not going to your apartment, Jackson,” I scream. “I know who's fi ght club you work at. I know how you betrayed me.” I ki¢k him. “And most of all, I already know that you're either going to ki ll me yourself or you're handing me right over to DeLuca himself to do it.”
At this, he stops moving entirely. “Jesus Christ, you're crazy. You know that!” he roars.
“Tell me, Jackson. How much are you getting paid to be his lackey? To do his dirty work for him?” Then I give him a sinister laugh of my own. “You really had me going with that whole Lilly story. How long did it take you to come up with that? H'll, there probably is no Lilly, is there?”
His entire body starts shaking and his hold on me tightens, but I keep going. “Or maybe there was. Who knows? Maybe she was a disgruntled ex-girlfriend of yours? Maybe you were the one who really ki lled her. Tell me, Jackson. Where did you bury Lilly's body right after you mur dered her, huh!”
“Shut the fk up! You have no idea what you're talking about!” he screams so loud I jump.
He opens the door to the Mustang and throws me in the passenger seat. The vein in his neck is bulging and there's sweat pouring down his face. I've never seen him this upset before, not even in the cage.
I open my mouth again, but he opens the dashboard and pulls out a roll of duct tape. Then he slams it across my mouth. I roll my eyes and proceed to peel it off but then he forces the seat all the way back, crawls on top of me and before I know it, both my wrists are being bound behind my back with the duct tape.
This action only further confirms my suspicions regarding his intentions with me.
I kick my feet up and try to kick out the windshield. He sighs and says, “Please, sit still. I know you know about my involvement with DeLuca. But there are some things that you don't know and I would like to explain them to you. Will you let me do that?”
I ignore him and kick the windshield again, until his hand slams down on my thigh and he gets close to my face. “I'm not going to hurt you. I'm not going to ki ll you. But I swear on all that is holy, if you don't cut this sht out, I will throw your as s in the trunk, Alyssa.”
At this, I finally stop kicking and relax in my seat.
He starts the car but points a finger at me. “I'm warning you right now, do not try and do something that will run us off the road.”
I want to tell him that since it's New York City, there really would be no point. At most, we'll be going 20 miles per hour before he has to slam on the breaks again. He should worry much more about me making a run for it during one of those stops.
Provided I ever get this duct tape off that is.
He starts driving in the direction of his apartment complex, which throws me for a loop. Doesn't he know that Momma could walk in at any time? Last time I checked, it's bad to have a witness when you commit a mu rder. It's just one more loose end that you'll be forced to take care of.
Oh god. Would Jackson actually ki ll Momma?
When we reach his apartment, he pulls in the back and parks in a hidden spot I've never seen before. All I can think is. This is where he's going to do it.
But to my surprise, he gets out of the car and opens my door. My eyes dart around contemplating where I can run to, but he anticipates this because he picks me up and it's back over his shoulder I go.
On the bright side, at least the surveillance footage will catch him carrying me into his apartment building like this.
My mu rder will be solved. I'll get my lifetime wish and be headlining the 6'o'clock news after all.
I lift my head as we begin walking and spot Lou-Lou's car parked across the street. Since her windows are tinted, I can't see them…but I definitely hear all sorts of shouting.
The door to the complex shuts behind us and Jackson begins making his way up the staircase.
When we get inside his apartment he heads for the kitchen and sits me on a stool by the counter. He cracks his knuckles and rolls his neck. I can't help but stare at him, that is totally a mob guy move. He notices my face and pinches the bridge of his nose before reaching for the tape across my mouth and tearing it off.
I don't waste the opportunity, I start screaming my head off. Mariah Carey has nothing on my vocal chords right now.
Jackson grunts and covers my mouth with tape again. “Fine, I guess I'll go first,” he says. “First of all, I love you—despite how batsht crazy you're acting right now. Secondly, I would never hurt you or ki ll you. It ki lls me that you would ever think that. And lastly, yes I do technically work for DeLuca, but it's not because I want to…got it?”
I shrug because I'm not really sure what he means by that. New York is an ‘at will' state, if you don't want to work for someone you don't. Not that the mob really adheres to bylaws and regulations, but still. If Jackson didn't want to work for him, he wouldn't. Besides, why would DeLuca want to keep an employee on the payroll that didn't even want to work for him in the first place? That's just bad business.
Unless DeLuca is holding something over his head? But what the h'll could DeLuca use for leverage?
Jackson begins pacing the floors. “Every single thing I told you about me is the truth, Alyssa. I know a small part of you has to know that. I mean, I put it all on video tape for you for crying out loud. You think I would confess to a mur der that I didn't commit?”
He has a point, I guess.
I shake my head and he walks back over to me and removes the tape. “Don't scream. Just let me explain. Okay?”
I nod my head because maybe things aren't what they seem after all.