Loving Lawson Page 22

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Prison is like a giant pause in your life.

You know time is passing, but you don\ feel it. It\s not the isolation from the world that kills you. It\s the repetition. You wake up with no purpose and go to bed dying a little more on the inside. Your heart is nothing more than a reminder that you\ e still alive, but it isn\ your most vital organ. It\s not what gives you purpose. It doesn\ tell you how to make it day after day in a place filled with violent criminals.

No, it\s the brain that keeps you going. The brain tells you what to do. It tells you to keep your f*king head down and never start trouble. To just exist.

Exist.

I was existing. But like a f*king plant in need of water, I was wilting. I needed her. I needed that water. I needed her to put some breath into me again, to give me hope that there was something good on the other side.

Which is f*ked up. Because having hope in a place like this was a dangerous thing. It made the fall that much higher - that much harder.

Most days I cursed her. She abandoned me, but for the life of me I couldn\ find it in me to hate her. I knew in some f*ked up way this was karma. I didn\ deserve her, but I\ll be damned if she thought being away from me meant we were done.

She was mine.

I never sought to fall in love with her. It just happened. But I knew the exact second it started to happen, and those memories haunted me every night I was alone in my cell.

’’Get up, Lawson,’’ came a voice, jolting me awake. ’’Got a visitor, ya prick.’’

I got up and on came the chains. ’’F*ked up bastard,’’ the fat guard, Jacko, muttered as he went, abusing me because I took it with my mouth shut. ’’Sad looking shit, aren\ you?’’ Yeah, he could talk. I\d let him. He didn\ know what I was capable of, but the more he went on, the more I reserved a spot for him in the future where he\d see it. He\d know exactly who he was f*king with.

He took me down to the visiting wing.

I hoped it wasn\ Matt again. The shit that man had fed me the last time he was here was downright mental. Talking about how Heath wanted Allie - my Allie!

I thought about our conversation on my way.

’’She\s not waiting for you,’’ he\d blurted out, avoiding my eyes as he shrugged in defeat. ’’There is absolutely no mention of you to anyone. She spends all her time going to school and being at the apartment with Heath. I don\ ... What the f*k do you want me to say, Ryker? She\s not waiting for you, man.’’

I didn\ let those words settle. I treated them as though it was wind;a slight whip in the face and it was gone.

’’It\s Heath, man,’’ he continued, finally looking me in the eyes while he tapped his fingers nervously on the table. ’’He\s been spending a lot of time with her, Ryker.’’

I rubbed my face in exasperation. The f*k did it matter? ’’I\d rather she spend time with my brother than any other man in that piece of shit, rat nest of a f*king town, Matt. I told him to look out for her -’’

’’If you saw the way he looked out for her, Ryker, you\d be pissed the hell off, too.’’

I didn\ respond for a few seconds. I searched his face. Was he high? The man was getting it wrong. I knew what he was trying to imply, but that shit made no sense to me. Heath promised he was going to be there for her. I trusted him to stick to his word, and by the sounds of it, he was. He had a nice, hot little thing on the side, and Allie was far below his league. He\d never looked at her, never cared when she was around. This was harmless, and he was probably annoyed as f*k I\d left him to do this shit.

’’You\ e getting it wrong,’’ I told Matt. ’’I\m positive it ain\ like that.’’

Matt blinked hard at me in annoyance and shook his head. ’’Fine, man. Don\ believe me then. But I know what I\m seeing, and they\ e close. She never goes anywhere without him.’’

Again, just wind. Maybe I was putting up a wall, or some shit. Maybe I didn\ want to believe it, but at the end of the day, it didn\ make sense to me. If they ever got together - God f*king help Heath if he took it that far - it would be the shock of my life. I\d kill him. And I guess that was what scared me the most.

I really would kill him.

No, I thought again, remembering the way Heath spoke to me when he saw me last. He would never f*k me over like that. He promised me with everything inside of him. He was my brother - my blood.

My footsteps slowed when I looked up at the table Jacko took me to. Everything inside of me froze save for my heart. It beat harder, and an exhilarating rush travelled through me as I locked eyes with Allie.

I dreamed about this. Vivid dreams about her coming to see me to tell me that she made a mistake. That she didn\ mean what she said about breaking up. That it was just an emotional reaction. It had to be. Her being here was proof of that.

My lips quirked up as I finally moved forward. Her blue eyes dropped down to the table as I approached her. I was waiting for her to hug me and press those soft lips to mine, but her gaze was pinned on a random spot on the f*king table and she remained fixed in her place.

I didn\ let this strange shift in her behaviour get to me. We hadn\ seen each other in months. We\d never been apart this long. She might still be angry at me. That was alright. We could talk it out.

I took a seat across from her and Jacko stepped back to give us space. I extended my hand out and took hold of one of her clasped hands. Like I remembered, her skin was cool and soft. Touching her was surreal to me.

’’Allie,’’ I whispered, ’’look at me, girl.’’

She wouldn\ .

Frustration immediately bubbled to the surface. What the f*k was going on?

’’Allie,’’ I repeated sternly, ’’look at me.’’

She slowly lifted her gaze to me. Those blue eyes met mine. Her lips pursed as she scanned my face. She looked fuller and prettier than I remembered. No longer that scrawny girl from before. Her breasts were actually coming in. She had never been a sight for sore eyes, but she was definitely starting to own her looks.

’’I missed you,’’ I told her, bringing her hand up to my mouth to place a kiss on it. The second I did, she cringed and pulled away. I sensed her conflict and anger, and I immediately tried to soothe it. ’’Don\ be upset with me. I\ve spent every day thinking about this. I don\ want you to waste time hating me. I know you. You melt when I speak to you. When I tell you how much I love you.’’

Those words didn\ touch her like they used to. She stared hard at me. I read her well and saw that resentment from a mile away. She hated me for what I put her through. The irony was she really didn\ know what I\d been up to. My life was built on secrets and lies. I couldn\ tell her the truth. If I revealed one little lie it would create a chain reaction. All of them would come crashing down one after the other like a house of cards, and I couldn\ have that.

’’Talk to me,’’ I pressed her, warmly regarding her the way I knew she liked. ’’Tell me what\s goin\ on in your pretty head.’’

She leaned forward and quietly said, ’’You\ve sat here talking about how much you love me and missed me, and you\ve yet to bring up our baby.’’

I tensed. Whatever warmth I felt was put out by the arctic chill the word ’’baby’’ gave me. I clenched my jaw and leaned back in my chair. This wasn\ going according to my dreams. This was turning into a nightmare.

’’What do you want me to say?’’ I asked her vacantly.

’’Aren\ you curious how it\s going? Don\ you want to know if it\s a healthy pregnancy?’’

I shrugged. ’’Well, is it?’’

She glared at me for a moment. ’’Yes,’’ she said in a hard voice. ’’It is.’’

’’Good, I\m glad to hear it,’’ was my robotic reply.

’’Are you really though? Because you don\ seem like you give a f*k.’’

My eyes widened. I\d never heard her actually swear before. Allie had always been soft spoken.

’’Did Heath teach you to be a dirty mouth?’’ It was meant to be a question in good humour. A way to break the ice. But instead... the reaction I got disturbed me. She froze and looked away. Something strange passed over those features. It was an emotion I\d never seen from her before. Guilt? Worry?

Something wasn\ right.

’’He been taking care of you?’’ I then asked, carefully watching her reaction.

She didn\ respond immediately, but her cheeks went a rosy pink. She clasped her hands and then unclasped them, and I recognized it as something she did when she was nervous. Question was, what was making her nervous?

’’Allie,’’ I pressed calmly. I didn\ know how I wasn\ shouting. I felt that rage simmer below the surface. In my heart of hearts, I knew what was going on, but I was fighting to acknowledge it.

’’Yeah,’’ she eventually whispered.

The silence continued to stretch on. Her discomfort grew by the second, and her worry far outweighed her nerves.

Matt\s words...

Were they just words?

Or were they...?

I could feel my heart splinter inside of me. Disbelief. I was facing a moment in my life I never thought I\d have to face. Allie had deceived me. I never thought she\d have it in her to hurt me like this.

With clenched teeth, I let out, ’’You f*ked him, didn\ you?’’

The slightest part of me hoped she\d be outraged by my question. Hell, if she wanted to deny it, I would have loved to hear it. I wanted to blind myself with the lie that she could do this to me. I already knew that she had, but I was pleading for her to deny it.

She licked her lips and blinked quickly. Her eyes watered as she looked up at me. That rage I felt before was a damn flame compared to what I was currently feeling.

’’Yeah,’’ she rasped out. ’’Yeah, I did.’’

’’Once?’’ Why was I torturing myself like this?

She shook her head. ’’No.’’

’’Twice?’’

Another shake of the head.

’’F*k, how many times?’’

’’You don\ want to know.’’

I leaned forward, tilting my head as I growled out, ’’What the f*k does that mean, Allie?’’

She didn\ shrink back like I thought she might. She stared back at me, fighting her own emotions as she retorted, ’’It means what you think it means.’’

I balled my fists. I wanted to f*king kill her. ’’So what then? Is he going to play daddy to our kid? Is that how this is going to go? You\ e going to have a fairy tale life while your guy is rotting in prison and you\ e out there f*king his brother?’’

She cringed at my words but didn\ back down. ’’You don\ care about the baby -’’

’’So all of that is a yes then? You\ve run off into the sunset with Heath.’’ I let out a bitter laugh, shocked at this turn of events. ’’F*k, isn\ that just great? Thank you, Allie, for f*king up my life.’’

Now she was furious. ’’F*king up your life? Do you have any idea what you put Heath and me through? You think because you got into prison all your problems disappeared? They didn\ . Your debts came knocking on our door!’’

I froze and stared confusedly at her. ’’What\ e you talking about?’’

’’I\m talking about that fifty thousand dollars, Ryker. Don\ play stupid.’’

I glanced around the room, making sure no ears were listening. ’’I have no idea about that,’’ I told her.

’’Lying again,’’ she hissed. ’’That\s all you were ever good at. Lying.’’

’’I\m not lying. I have no idea about that.’’ I was actually telling the truth. Boss said nothing about collecting that money I got caught with. What the f*k? I had a sick feeling that maybe he\d cut me off. ’’I\ll take care of that,’’ I told her adamantly. ’’I\ll get it sorted out. Don\ you worry, Allie.’’

She shook her head in disbelief. ’’Too late for that, Ryker. The worst already happened.’’

What did she mean by that?

’’I meant what I said last time,’’ she added gravely. ’’I\m done with you.’’

’’No, you ain\ .’’

’’Yes, I am.’’

I let out another hard laugh. ’’You\ e not getting rid of me so easily. You have no idea what I went through to be with you. There\s no way in hell I\m losing you to that deceiving f*k head.’’

She didn\ understand my words. I hadn\ told her anything. More secrets. More lies. I just wanted to wipe the slate clean and start anew. Was that too much to ask for?

Ignoring my words, she pushed back her chair and said, ’’I\m going. I\ll let you know how the baby is going if that\s what you want, but I\m not coming here as your girl anymore -’’

’’You gonna f*k him tonight?’’ I interrupted harshly, leaning further over the table. She froze, her mouth half open as she gawked at me like I\d lost my mind. ’’You are, aren\ you? Well, that\s alright, Allie. You got five years with that unfaithful shit. Then I\m out of here. And you know what I\m gonna do when I get out? I\m going to kill him.’’

Her eyes widened, and her breaths slowed. I nodded at my words and smirked at her. ’’I am. I\m going to f*king tear him to pieces, limb by limb. And then you\ e going to look at me in the eye and tell me you\ e still done with me.’’

I didn\ want to watch her leave. I stood up instead and signalled at the guard to take me away. She\d gone limp in her chair as the jackass aggressively took hold of me and steered me out of there. She was frightened, and hell f*k yes, she should be. I lived three harsh years under Boss, and the only thing that kept me going was her.


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