The men find out that Paisley’s on the run from her abusive ex, and offer to help, if she needs it.
“I’d kinda rather he didn’t know Paisley lived here on her own,” Kai said. “I like Brill. But some of his homeboys scare the shit outta me, and I don’t scare easy.”
“Nobody but Brill needs to know. He can order some of the guys to keep an eye on the complex. Someone shows up they don’t know, they call in. Simple. Little peace of mind. You can’t be here twenty-four/seven, dude.”
Kai conceded that he couldn’t. “Baby, whatcha think?”
Paisley shrugged. Talking about her ex always made her quiet. “I’d like to know there were a few armed men between me and Ralph. That’s his name. Ralph Winston Embree, IV.”
“There been three others saddled with that name? And I thought Tyrone Marseilles was bad. Dude, no wonder he’s an asshole. Name like that….”
“He tried to kill me,” Paisley blurted out. “The night I left. He beat me up, and choked me. I couldn’t go to the cops, his dad owns them. So I packed a few things and ran.” She shook, spilling her beer.
Kai dragged her into the circle of his arms, giving what comfort he could.
“Man like that needs to die,” TM growled. “Needs to meet with an accident.”
“Needs to fall down stairs for a month,” Billy said. “With me at the bottom, kicking his ass back up.”
“What’s wrong with a guy like that? You said he was rich, he’s got more money than God, why’s he gotta be like that with you?” Toby asked, his handsome face full of concern.
“Know his social?” Chi asked. “Anything personal you know about him, tell me. You want his money? I’ll get it for you, completely untraceable. You want to be someone else? I can do that, too. I can disappear you fast as lightening. He’ll never find you again.”
“You can do that?” TM was stunned. “I don’t even wanna know how.”
“I couldn’t explain it to you anyway. But yeah, I can do that. Guy like that deserves to suffer. To lose it all, till he’s lower than chicken shit. Then he needs to die.”
“I don’t know his social,” Paisley said, sniffling.
“Don’t matter. Name like that, he’ll be easy to find. Guys, I’m heading home. Suddenly, the need to find female companionship, pales.”
“Dude, you do what you say you can, I’ll personally set you up with one of my cousins,” Toby said. “And you know how hot they are.”
Chi grinned, nodding. “Yeah, you’re related to the prettiest women in the state. Bites for you, man. Anytime Toby meets a new woman, he’s gotta go through his family tree, to make sure they aren’t kin.”
“I met one girl once, damn, she was fine! Tight ass, great tits, pretty, red headed, willing…. So, we’re nearly naked and it occurs to me that I don’t know her last name. Thank God I asked! She’s a distant cousin from North Carolina. Very disappointing.”
“How distant? You know, anything past second cousin is okay to date or even marry,” Paisley said.
“Not in my family,” Toby replied glumly. “It might just be shared potato salad, but we don’t date, and we sure don’t wed anything less than six degrees of separation. My uncle became a family outcast for marrying his third cousin. There was so much family pressure, he divorced her a year later.”
“That’s the McTeague way.” He shrugged.
“You’re really related to that many people?”
“My family breeds like Borg. I’m fifth of eight. My aunt has ten kids. Another has twelve. My cousin Drake’s from the smallest family, his mom has only two.”
“Patrick’s his cousin,” Kai told her. “There’s only three boys in that family.”
“I got more aunts, uncles and cousins than I can remember. Family reunions are crazy wild. But try to find a woman! I practically gotta go out of state.”
“Toby and I are what, third cousins once removed?” Kai asked him.
“Our mothers know. Kai’s related on Mom’s side. They aren’t as prolific.”
“My dad’s McMurtry kin,” Kai told Paisley.
“You know him?” She was shocked. He never spoke of his father.
“Yeah. He’s a good guy. He and Mom didn’t think marrying at sixteen was the way to go, so they went their own ways. But he’s always been around.”
“Why don’t you use his name?”
“Because then it would take a lot of explaining. He’s kind of an important man now. It’s mine, if I want it and he’s acknowledged me….”
“His dad’s in state government,” Toby explained. “Kai didn’t want to embarrass his old man. If anyone wanted to dig up dirt on him, they’d find Kai. His dad’s name is on the birth certificate. But why call attention?”
Paisley nodded, understanding completely. “How do we manage to find the subjects, most likely to cause embarrassment?” she asked, forcing a smile.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes