“When did you do this?”
“The day after we met. I technically had Brenda look up the possible sales. She got a hit, and I contacted them. I wanted to make sure you got them.”
“I can’t believe you went through all that for me.”
“Babe, I’d go through hell on Earth for you.”
“Um hello. Excuse me you two. I still have a few questions.” The detective shakes his head and asks for more details. We spent the next hour answering many of them before we left to see the estate. The drive itself was killer, mainly because as we got five miles out you could smell the burning wood.
I gasp as I look at the ruins. There was nothing but the shell of the grand home. According to the detective, it went up quicker than it should, inferring that an accelerant had been used. My cousins did this. At least Tommy was a part of it for sure.
“I’m so sorry, Ben. You wanted this house and put all of the effort and money to renovate it.”
“It’s nothing. There’s insurance to handle this. It’s your former home.”
“Yes, since I was a fifteen. My aunt took me in when my mother died in an accident. I never knew my father. He was a cop and killed in the line of duty when I was born. He saw me right before he finally succumbed to his injuries.”
“Damn, babe. I can’t believe the losses you’ve had.”
“Really, my aunt made up for the losses many times over. Although, my cousins hated her attention to me. I was like the daughter she never had, so she spoiled me with affection. I never wanted for anything again, except some kindness from my cousins. They refused to be nice my entire life and even more so when I came to live with them.”
“I think there’s more to that. I can’t understand that selfish hatred to that extent. By the time you came into the home, they would have been in college.”
“That’s true. It’s not like I stole toys, got in their way, or anything. Her affection for me was unacceptable to them.”
“Well, if those fucks come near you, I’ll bury them. I’m not going to let anyone hurt you again. You’re mine, and I mean that in every way. We’ll get through this, Mira.”
We drive back to the city in the middle of the night. There’s nothing we can do for now especially in the dark. We go back to my place because I want to be able to shower and change in the morning. Ben locks up, and I start to undress. It’s not done provocatively at all, but I hear a groan from Ben. I love the way he can still look at me when I’ve been a crying miserable mess all day. I brush my teeth and hop into bed, then he does the same, wrapping his arms around me and pulling my back to his chest. “I love you, Mira,” he mumbles out. I don’t react externally, but inside I’m dancing the Irish jig, doing some backflips and finishing it out with some ass popping. He said he loves me. I know he’s not all the way awake, but that somehow doesn’t lessen the revelation.
A week passed since someone tried to kill me and then destroyed my home. They fucked up and did it backward, and that was their downfall. The police already had the fuck in custody, and he folded in a second after evidence led straight to him. The Daniel Cooley was an alias for Dennis Cooks. He happens to know my Mira. According to reports, he was obsessed with her, and she told him no way in hell. The brothers used it to their advantage. And he was sent to deal with me and the house.
They were arrested this morning with a bunch of charges. We don’t know what’s going to happen, or when and if they go to trial, but I’m not going to let them get off the hook. The cost of the home alone wasn’t going to be covered by the insurance company. My attorney would be getting them to pay restitution in their sentence. I’m sure of it. My guy is the best.
Now, I’m back to work, setting up the next six weeks of projects. Then I’m taking Mira on a honeymoon. We’re getting married before that. She doesn’t know any of this, but she will tonight. A knock at my door distracts me from the thoughts of tying Mira to me forever.
Brenda comes in after I give the okay, with my father passing her by and taking a seat. “What the hell, Benedict? When were you going to tell your mother and I that you were nearly killed?”
“How did you find out?”
“A friend of ours saw your name in the papers, and there are at least six articles with your name in it. And who is this woman? You haven’t dated in at least a decade.”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======