“Alright ladies, are we ready?” Marcus asked as he reached the bottom of the steps.
“Ready? You’re coming?” Finley asked giving me a confused look. She and I were headed out to pick up Zana and go prom dress shopping.
“Yes, you’re mom and I talked about it last night.”
“No, we didn’t. You said you were coming to carry me around everywhere like I’m some sort of invalid, and I told you I would be fine and would take lots of breaks.”
Marcus walked over smiling as his arms circled my ever expanding waist. “This will be fun and I can be there to veto anything I think is too revealing,” he said, smiling over at Finley who rolled her eyes in response.
“If that’s the case, I’ll just be wearing a sack.”
“I like the sound of that,” Marcus replied, giving her a peck on the cheek. “Let’s go.”
Finley and I filed out of the house knowing there was no use in trying to argue with him. When we got to Zana’s house, Finley jumped out of the car no sooner than Marcus put it in park.
We sat in the car and waited, when the door opened Zana’s stepfather stepped out instantly yelling at Finley. Marcus was out of the car before I could even get the seat belt off.
“Take your freak of a daughter and get off my property!” he yelled. “I shouldn’t be surprised it’s your kind that would be responsible for messing with Zana’s head. Like she wasn’t trouble enough.”
“My kind?” Marcus asked stepping closer to Zana’s step-father. “You might want to rethink what you say next!” I heard the warning tone in Marcus’ voice and I knew this was about to get bad real quick.
Zana came out of the house carrying a bag. She had been crying and had a very defined red mark on her face.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Her mom asked running out behind her. Finley rushed towards Zana, but her stepfather pushed Finley back.
That was the last straw for Marcus, he had the man pinned to the ground, pushing his face into the concrete walkway. Zana’s mother started pounding on his back as the man yelled out a slew of curses.
“Girls get in the car now,” I said. They both stood frozen watching the scene unfold.
“Now!” I yelled again and they both scrambled towards the car.
“I’m calling the police!” Mrs. Roberts yelled when her attempts to move Marcus failed.
“Marcus, baby, let him up,” I pleaded. When he looked up at me, I couldn’t help but to take a step back. The last time he looked that angry was the day he and Mulo fought.
“Marcus,” I said calmly. “Don’t do this.”
“Yes, officer. He just started beating on my husband, please hurry.”
Marcus turned in the direction of Mrs. Roberts hearing her frantic call to the police. Quickly he pulled Mr. Roberts to his feet, throwing him in the house.
“Amari go to the car,” he said before slamming the door shut.
I tried the handle, but it was locked. “Marcus!” I yelled banging on the door. I heard more cussing, then a scream, followed by silence. My heart was pounding as I continued to bang on the door until I heard the sirens.
Both Finley and Zana got out of the car as the officers approached.
“Are you the homeowner?” He asked me.
“No, I just came to pick up my daughter’s friend to take them shopping. They were in the middle of a family argument when we arrived.”
The officer looked over at Zana and saw the bruise on her face. “Who’s inside?” He asked directing the question to her.
“Um…my mom, stepdad…” she paused looking over at me.
“And my husband.” I finished for her.
“LAPD, open the door.” The officer announced banging on the door. There was silence but then the door opened.
“Can I help you officer?” Mrs. Roberts asked.
“Yes, did you call in a disturbance at this residence?”
I peeked around to see Marcus standing with Mr. Roberts sitting on the couch. I let out a sigh of relief to see that my worst fears weren’t true.
“Yes, sorry it was all a misunderstanding. My husband, he um…hit my daughter and that guy stepped in to stop him. He, my husband, can get pretty upset sometimes…” her voice faltered off as the officer walked past her to where Marcus and Mr. Roberts were.
“Sir, is everything okay here?” The officer asked Mr. Roberts. He had a nasty scratch on the side of his face where Marcus had pushed it into the sidewalk.
“Yeah, I’m good. Sorry my wife overreacted.”
The police were going to arrest Zana’s stepfather for hitting her, but she didn’t want to press charges. Dress shopping was put off, and we rode home in silence. Zana stayed huddled up with Finley in the back seat and she would cast nervous glances at Marcus. When we got home, I made the girls go to the living room so we could talk about what happened.
“Zana, I need to apologize for scaring you, and hurting your stepfather,” Marcus said once they’d taken a seat.
“Why…um…your face and teeth…”
“Yeah, about that.” Marcus took a seat and she inched closer to Finley.
“Z, it’s ok,” Finley said. “He’s a little different, but it runs in my family sorta. You know how you liked Dracula?” Zana nodded. “Well, I live with him. Pretty cool huh?”
Zana looked at Marcus, then over at me, before looking back at Finley. “You’re not kidding are you?”
“No, and it’s not just him.”
“Me? No, but the triplets, and my two oldest siblings.”
There was silence. Marcus and I waited to see if she was going to flip out, and Finley looked worried about the same thing.
Her face went from confused to having the biggest grin. “That is so freakin’ cool!”
The rest of the day was spent with her grilling Marcus about stuff trying to see what was fact and what was fiction. I was happy that she handled the news well, I knew how much she meant to Finley and I didn’t want this having a negative impact on their relationship. After dinner, we talked about what went on at her house. Apparently her mother had gone through her phone and found some racy text messages sent between the girls. She stayed the night with us, and Marcus let her know that her parents would be more accepting of her relationship with Finley from now on.
***Meanwhile in Riverview***
“What the hell do you want?” George bellowed as soon as he opened the door.
“Is that anyway to greet a guest?” I asked stepped around him. “Boy, you’re slumming it since the wife kicked you out.”
“Go to hell!” he retorted. “Why are you here?”
“Your daughter needs you? You do remember you have one right?”
His face softened for a moment at the mention of Amari. “What’s happened? Is she okay?”
“Not, yet. But she will be. It’s time for you to pay the piper.”
Thank you all for your patience. I never planned on taking this long of a break, but hopefully I'll be back on track soon with regular bi-weekly updates. Sorry this one was so short, but I'm a tad rusty and needed to ease back into this. Kiss will be ending this year, so we are heading towards seeing if Amari can get her happily ever after. Thank you all for your support and encouragement on this story!