Get out now. While you Still can.

I walked into the elegant restaurant and looked to see where my date would be, but there was no sight of her. “Hello, is there something I can help you with sir?” the counter server asked.

“Yes, have you seen a woman by the name of Scarlett come in recently?” I asked. He searched through his computer.

“No, but I can get a table for two and seat you now if you’d like.”

“That would be great.” I followed him through the restaurant and sat at a table in the middle.”

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“Water will be fine.” He left and soon brought back the drink. I sat for about 20 minutes when I decided to text Scarlett. She said she’d be here waiting before I would get here, so I assumed maybe something happened and she forgot to tell me. Another 20 minutes went by and nothing. I was about to get up and leave when a man walked by my table and dropped a folded napkin in front of me, trying to be discreet. I couldn’t get a look of him, his head was turned away the entire time. I looked back at the napkin and saw on it, “Get out now. While you still can.” I quickly looked back up and didn’t see the man anywhere. This couldn’t have been a coincidence. I only stood up when a waiter came to me.

“Going so soon? You haven’t even ordered your meal.”

“I decided to leave, I’m not hungry anymore.”

“Why don’t you sit back down,” he said firmly with his hand on my arm.

“Don’t touch me.” I was about to take his hand off when he pointed a gun at me.

“I said to sit down!” I quickly pushed the hand with the gun away from me and punched the man on the face, which made him fall backwards. I dashed towards the entrance and was followed by gun shots. Another man appeared out of nowhere and pushed me to the ground.

“Get the fuck off me!” We both went back and forth between punches to the face. I thought this was it for me. Whatever these guys wanted from me, they were going to get. I was strong for my age, but these guys were much better and seemed like they fought often. I hit the man one last time and he was take off from me. I stood up as fast as I could and saw the man who was on top of me laying on the floor face down.

“Come on!” Another man grabbed my arm and took me into a car waiting outside the restaurant.

“What the hell is going on?” I asked.

“They’re trying to kill you.”

“Why would someone want to kill me?”

“Because of your father.” I hadn’t seen him in years. He didn’t die, but I had no idea where he was or what he was doing.

“You know him?” I asked dazed.

“Yeah, he’s my boss.”

“Boss?”

“He’ll explain it all to you when we get there. The name’s Frankie by the way.” We sat in silence for the rest of the car ride and stopped at a mansion. Frankie lead me in and up a flight of stairs and into a large room with a group of 10 men.

“James!” My father. He was standing right there and saying my name. The last time I saw him was when I was eight.

“Dad?”

“You remember,” he said happily and hugging me. I was too confused to saw anything. “What’s the matter, cat caught your tongue?”

“You’ve been here this whole time?”

“Not exactly, but for a while I have been.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m here for my job. That reminds me, this is everyone. Everyone, this is my son, James.” The men all greeted me and I could still only stare in shock. “We can have introductions later.”

“Why am I here?”

“Well, some bad guys were after you tonight and I had Frankie make sure you were safe. Although, your face looks like it got a few hits.”

“Can you just get to the point already.” My Dad left my Mom and I with no explanation, and now I see him 17 years later. You could say I’m a little frustrated. And I let him know I was frustrated.

“About a month ago I made a deal with a man named Blain Ruth. I held up my end of the deal but he didn’t. I got a little agitated by that and got all of what was promised. Unfortunately, he didn’t like that, so he found you and was going to kill you. And so that’s why you’re here.

“If that’s all, can I go back now?”

“No, you have to stay here and join us.”

“Join? No I’m not joining anything.”

“You have to James. It’s the only way I can protect you.”

“So after 17 years you want to care about me?”

“Look, James, I know I wasn’t much of a father to you growing up, but I’m here now I want to know you. And if you go back out there now, they could kill you.” I shook my head. “Please, I know what I did in the past, but at least stay here until things get clear. I can’t lose you knowing I could have stopped it.” As much as I hated him for leaving my Mom and I. There wasn’t much of a choice for me.

“You’re not even going to let me go, so what’s the use in arguing.”

“He’s smart,” Frankie said.

“You’re going to love it here, James,” one of the men said.

“Yeah, sure,” I said.

“By next week you’re probably going to want to stay here forever,” my Dad said.

“We’ll see.”

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