A death wish
There was a long pause as Dice stared calmly at Elijah, his expression blank and emotionless, not breaking eye contact with him.
“You got some powerful people on your ass,” Dice remarked, crossing his arms against his chest, waiting for Elijah’s reaction. “Why?”
Elijah didn’t budge as he stared back at Dice, not saying a word, and he didn’t give anything away, nor gave any hint to Dice as to what he was feeling by those words. “The Hayes… the rat works for the Hayes family, mainly Dean Hayes.” Dice paused again for another second, making sure his words were completely understood.
Silently, Elijah eyed Matt, seeing the look of concern and wor etched on his features, and he then shifted his gaze over at Dice.
A faint frown surfaced on Rick’s lips as he looked at Larry and mumbled, “Didn’t the news say that Melina’s ex-husband is a worthless stay-at-home husband with nothing to his name except his desire to leech off her wealth, so how is this guy before us the same man on the news.”
“I’m not sure. Our new leader does not have the appearance of a loser… In fact, I think he’s playing us all, and there is more to him… What secrets do you think he’s hiding?” Larry whispered, not moving his eyes off Elijah.
A brief silence followed his words and when he eyed Rick, his partner finally mumbled, “I don’t know. But what troubles me is why he’s putting himself at risk by choosing such enemies like the Hayes family,”
“Maybe he got a death wish.” Barron teased from the back, listening in on the two conversations
“Or maybe he’s a worthy opponent for such a powerful family,” Dickson said, and all three men looked sideways at him with an expression that clearly asked, “Are you okay?!” “How long has Jerome been watching the motel?” Elijah wondered, trying to read Dice carefully. “Why was he doing so?” “Since he got out of the hospital. We didn’t get a call from you, so he decided to check up on you, but when he got to the motel a few days ago, that’s when he noticed Vlad, snooping around the front of the building.”
“And you didn’t mention this until now… Why?” Elijah raised one of his eyebrows and asked Dice, not wanting to trust a word he was being told.
Dice sighed deeply, and looked down, hesitating, unable to look directly at Elijah without flinching, and then he said, “We wanted to make sure that he was a threat… Well, we know that he is dangerous generally… but we wanted to know how much of a threat he was to you.”
“He’s dangerous…” Elijah stated bluntly, looking at Matt as he did so. Raising his gaze, Dice met Elijah’s eyes with a dead – serious expression and said, “I guess you
don’t know about the underground world of Syldavia. I know Vlad, and he’s not just a simple watchdog. He is also an underdog that will do whatever is requested for the right price… including a kill order.”
Silence followed those words, and after a while, Elijah slowly lowered his head and closed his eyes, thinking things through. Then, opening them again, he said, “What was his order from Dean?”
“To investigate you. He said Dean is suspicious of you, and he wants to find out more about just who you are. your every move at the motel was reported back to Dean by Vlad,” Dice explained calmly
His Index finger subconsciously stroked his lips as Elijah took in those words, thinking about them silently, and eventually, he nodded his head and murmured, “Okay. Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate you guys helping me out so far.” “No problem, boss! Anytime you need backup, don’t hesitate to ask,” Dice replied with a warm smile, flashing Elijah his teeth.
After nodding faintly, Elijah tumed towards his car but stopped y en Dice asked, “You are leaving?”
“Is there more?” Elijah questioned, glancing toward Matt, and then returned his gaze to Dice.
“What do we do with Vlad? Do you want to see him?”
“No… Release him and keep an eye on him. Report back to me about his movement.”
There was a brief pause, and then Elijah met Dice’s gaze and asked, “Does he know who you guys work for?”
“No, we blindfolded him and never mentioned your name during our little conversation.” Dice replied honestly
With a slight nod, he gave a faint smile and said, “Good. I will wire some cash into your account today for this new assignment. Put an eagle over Vlad’s head and don’t let anything slip by you guys. I want to know Dean’s next move.”
When Dice nodded, Elijah turn back to his car, eyed Matt, and said, “Let’s go,”
Quietly, Matt watched Dice, Jerome, and the men with a stiff expression for an intense second before he opened the door and climbed into his vehicle, following behind Elijah, who had already gotten in his car
The ride back to the motel was quiet for a moment as Matt pondered over what just happened, looking out the window with his expression unreadable.
It was at that point that the atmosphere in the car seemed to become tense, and Matt finally spoke up, saying, “Boss, how about next time you don’t take such a risk like that again.”
Eyeing Matt for a second with confusion and a slight look of annoyance, Elijah smiled sarcastically and replied simply, “Life is about taking risks. It’s either take chances or live with regrets… Take it or leave it.”
“Well, your life is way important to me!” Matt exclaimed, clenching his fists tightly as he stared at Elijah. “I will take a bullet for you helore you do in un
Turning his head towards Matt, Elijah remained silent for a moment before he responded in a cold tone, “I know my father is paying you to keep me safe, but-” “I never said that I will take a bullet because of your money and power or your father…. I said that I will take a bullet for you, boss!” Matt interrupted angrily as he glared at Elijah. Letting those words sink in, Elijah kept silent, realizing what Matt meant and knowing that his words were sincere even if he wasn’t saying it explicitly. Trust was not something Elijah easily liked to feel for anyone, but at that moment, he saw the truth in Matt’s words and realized that he trusted Matt with his life, which in itself was unusual. “Maybe next time, I would think things through with you befo – jumping into trouble,” Elijah commented, staring straight ahead as he drove.
A sense of relief washed over Matt as he heard Elijah’s words, and he let out a soft breath as he stared out of the window, feeling satisfied. “That’s good to know, boss… I have this feeling that this Dean guy is someone that seemed sketchy, and we might have to be careful with him… He might try to pull something again,” Matt continued, turning his head slightly and looking at Elijah.
“When I was with his daughter, he hated the very ground that I walk on, so yeah, I know that his sudden interest in me isn’t something good, trust me,” Elijah admitted, keeping his eyes on the road as he drove. After a long pause, Elijah’s face darkened and his jaw clenched as he mumbled, “A man like Dean is nothing but bad news…”
The calm atmosphere in the motel lobby was interrupted by the sound of the front door, and Peace along with James and Miss Grace’s expressions immediately stiffened at the sight of Madam Jewel and Dean, walking into the place.
Closing her book, Peach’s heartbeat started to
quicken upon seeing Dean’s appearance, the man that inherited most of what her father once owned when her grandfather was alive. The man that her father called, “Brother,” turned his back on him during his sick days and refused to help him. Tears settled in Peach’s eyes, but she blinked them back, knowing that it was no time to show signs of weakness because if there was one person she didn’t trust as much as Madam Jewel, it was her uncle Dean. “Peach, can we talk somewhere private,” Dean asked, eyeing James’ cold expression towards him and madam Jewel before looking back at the bitter look in his step niece’s eyes.