32

Her heart raced the moment she pulled into the Port Of Los Angeles. Even the scent of seawater didn’t calm her down. Gypsy knew something would happen tonight, but the unknown had her entire soul on edge. Grace was coming home tonight. That was her only goal. Little did she know, tonight would change her life forever, but would she ever be the same again. Probably not.

“She’s parked and getting out of the car. Should I bring her in?” Security asked.

Nicolette waited for a moment. Looking at all the monitors, she needed to make sure that none of the players were in the same room. Not yet, at least. “Bring her into the rear of the building. Keep eyes on her, but I warn you, do not allow her to contact anyone. Not yet,” said Nicolette. She couldn’t allow Gypsy to lose her fight for Grace. Once she did, Nicolette knew mistakes could happen, and that was something she would never allow.

With a simple nod of his head, the male security did as told. Meeting with the young blond in the parking lot, he assured her she was fine, but she would need to come with him for now into the back room.

“Where am I going? Is Grace here? Please,” she cried. With tears running down her face, Gypsy grabbed the bag from the back of her car, holding it tight to her chest. It was the clothing she bought for Grace to come home wearing.

“She’s here, but you can’t see her till the boss lady talks to you,” he said.

“No, please, I brought money. Please let me see my daughter,” Gypsy cried. She opened her purse and showed the man the money. She cleaned out her account to give to whoever was holding her child.

“Let’s go. I need to get you inside where it’s safe,” security said. Looking around, the Security guard didn’t trust Frank Paloma. He knew the man by reputation. Do you know when you get that gut feeling that someone is watching you? His stomach tightened right now, and he needed to get his girl inside because they were both targets. With a hand on the small of her back, the security guard ushed Gypsy into the building, the solid steel door slamming behind them.

“Oh fuck,” she yelped. The sound alone making her body cover in chills. “Can I have my daughter now,” she asked.

“This way. Boss lady is waiting to talk to you,” he said.

The security guard led Gypsy through the hall, not stopping until he reached a small room, knocking softly.

“Come in,” Nicolette said. Little did Gypsy know, she was about to meet her cousin for the first time.

“Wait, you? I know you,” Gypsy said, walking into the room where her cousin sat at the two-seat table. “You were at the church and gave me rosary beads,” she said, her inner walls aching the moment she mentioned them. That man had forced them inside of her, causing her to ache from their presence in her vaginal walls. She had forgotten for a moment about his visit.

“Sit please,” Nicolette said. “There is so much more that you need to know about me before this can continue. The church was not our first meeting,” she added.

Gypsy rested her hands on the table, confused as to what this girl was saying. She would have remembered her if they met in the past, right?

“No. You met me, but you were not in the frame of mind to remember me,” said Nicolette. Standing, she walked across the room to grab two bottles of water. They would need them before this conversation was over.

It was the click on the floor that sent the first of many shivers down Gypsy’s spine. Heels, not just any heels, though. She knew that sound. “Oh god,” Gypsy cried. It was the shoes that she wore the night she tried to take her life. The same shoes that were removed from her feet and taken from her unconscious body. “You….” she cried, pointing to the shoes that Nicolette wore, “You found me. Oh dear god, it was you who saved me that night.”

Nicolette nodded, twisting the cap to the bottle of water, slowly sipping the cold beverage. She stumbled upon Gypsy that night in Barstow, and yes, she did save her and the unborn child, but she didn’t realize then who the young blond was other than some lost soul. “I was sent there to retrieve a package that night. I didn’t know that you were the package,” she shrugged. “Arison, my, well, my keeper, he sent me to find something that was lost. I didn’t know then that I was to leave you there and stay with you during your passing. To hold your hand while you left your mortal life and transcended to the other side to meet your Grandfather. In the words of Arison, I fucked up,” she laughed.

Gypsy felt the wind knocked from her body as she leaned back in the folding chair. All of this time, she wondered who saved her and her daughter. Come to find out it was this woman. A stranger sent to help her pass over. “Why did you save me if I should have died that night?” Gypsy asked. Why would someone save the life of a stranger?

“I saved you because of the life you carried inside of you. You chose to die, that child did not. I will let no selfish acts take the life of a child,” Nicolette said. “You slit your wrists over a man? A fucking man? Did he mean more to you than the life of the child you both created?” she said as her agitation grew. It was getting close, and she felt him growing near. Arison would come tonight, but not until she made sure the world paid for the pain of that innocent soul.

Digesting it all, the distant sounds of a baby crying brought Gypsy to her feet and running for the door. “Grace, I need my daughter,” she begged. Before she could reach the door, she came face to face with the boogyman—her father.

“No!” screaming out, Gypsy stopped, backing up, looking to Nicolette, “Why is he here? You promised me my daughter, not this pig.”

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