AUTHOR'S NOTES: Thanks everyone for your feedback! It's much appreciated, and you know how to motivate me. You guys rock!
I have two things I would like to mention before you start reading this chapter. One – be mentally prepared because this is a warning; the death of a MAJOR character will happen in one of the later chapters. Two – not too many fics out there involve Thievyrie. Honestly, I find that Tamsin and Kenzi would make the cutest couple on television today. I have an idea on how to work it into this story. So if you do have an interest, please let me know via your reviews or PM's.
Thank you once again for all your reviews and comments.
The footsteps scrambled across the floorboards above, constantly moving from room to room. Kenzi tightened her grasp around the valkyrie, slightly quivering at the thought that her stepfather was in the clubhouse looking for her. She knew how dangerous he was and what his intentions were with her, but she also knew that it won't stop the young woman's new family from doing everything they can to protect her from that monster.
"Tamsin … Lauren … Trick," whispered the shifter. "Stay here with Kenzi. Bo … Hale … Vex …" Dyson pointed toward the stairs, motioning to follow him and help deal with the situation.
Bo bent down and withdrew the dagger from her boot as she strolled over to the stairs, the others closely following behind. As the succubus began to ascend the staircase, the small brunette heard a muffled yelp from above. She suddenly recognized who it was and shot up from the couch.
"Wait," the young woman blurted out softly. Everyone stopped and turned to look at Kenzi, a look of confusion over their faces. She bolted towards Bo. "I know who it is. It's not my stepfather if that is who you're thinking."
"Who is it," the succubus questioned as the small brunette lightly grabbed her arm.
"Put the dagger away," Kenzi said. "Trust me on this. Not only do I know him, but you do as well." Bo looked at her best friend incredulously as she sheathed the dagger back into her boot.
"Unfortunately yes. We helped him once."
The succubus thought for a moment until it hit her. She rolled her eyes at who the young woman was referring to. "Oh no," Bo mumbled.
"Yeah; I'm afraid so," the small brunette nodded in agreement. She gradually turned to everyone else, a little smile gracing her face. "Can you all wait here? I can handle it."
The shifter gazed at Kenzi with worried eyes, quietly pleading the small brunette, "Are you sure Kenz? I can go …"
"No it's fine," Kenzi interrupted. "Thanks though."
As the young woman rounded the corner to the succubus' bedroom, she saw him hunched over looking inside Bo's suitcase filled with sharp, pointed weapons. He let a short whistle escape from his lips. The small brunette quietly strolled towards him, leaning toward the front just a little as she yelled his name, "Ozzie!"
He stumbled forward, knocking his head against the end table. Ozzie let out a small groan as he rubbed the back of his head, trying to ease the throbbing pain.
"Jeez louise Kenz," Ozzie grumbled as he stood up. "Don't do that again!"
"I can say the same to you," the small brunette exclaimed, smacking him across the shoulder. "What the hell are you doing up here Ozzie? And how did you get in?"
"I snuck in through your bedroom window," answered Ozzie with a goofy grin plastered on his face. "You have some … interesting stuff lying around here."
The young woman couldn't help but stare at the young man, squinting her eyes a little at the comment he made. "That's a little creepy dude! Downstairs now!" Kenzi grabbed the young man's leather jacket as she dragged him down the stairs, walking past everyone towards the kitchen.
"Now, do you mind telling me why you didn't use the front door like normal people do," questioned the young woman.
Ozzie looked at everyone else nervously before he leaned into the small brunette, whispering his answer, "I just want to make sure I wasn't being followed. And I want to know what happened to you earlier today. "
Did Ozzie know what happened to me, Kenzi thought to herself. If so, how did he find out? The young woman tried to play dumb as she answered the young man, "What do you mean? "
He continued, "One of my buddies, Andrew, saw some girl limping out of the store on Dundas and Keele dressed in goth clothing. You're the only one I know who dresses like that. So what happened? "
The young woman never talked to Ozzie about her past before and wasn't going to start now. Kenzi released a rickety sigh, "I don't want to talk about it. "
Bo saw how uncomfortable her best friend was, trying to hide her past from someone she knew while living on the streets. It was hard enough for the small brunette to talk about it with her and everyone else there, but she was glad the young woman did.
"Well, do you remember Brayden," Ozzie broke the short silence. Kenzi acknowledged the young man.
"He works at the store. He saw some old guy throwing you around … that you chucked a lot of wine bottles at them to get away. Who was that guy? "
The small brunette stared down at her feet, contemplating if she should even mention anything to the young man about her stepfather. "Don't worry about it Ozzie," Kenzi quietly said. She shut her eyes as the young woman mentally smacked herself for saying such a thing.
Ozzie could not believe the young woman's response, looking at her in disbelief, "What do you mean don't worry about it? Why won't you talk to me? What did you do to deserve that type of …"
"I didn't deserve any of it Ozzie," Kenzi snapped at him, her eyes wide in hatred as she beamed at the young man, her voice raised. The small brunette's tone shocked everyone in the clubhouse, including her best friend. "Any of it at all! Do you hear me?"
Ozzie saw everyone's reaction from the young woman's demeanor. The young man never saw this side of Kenzi before when they were living on the streets. Something must have happened to make her act this way, he thought. With a surprised look, Ozzie slowly backed away from her. The small brunette felt terrible at the way she behaved towards him.
"I didn't mean …" Ozzie started.
"I know," she interrupted as her face softened. "I'm sorry I snapped at you." Kenzi drew in a deep breath and exhaled slowly as she uttered suddenly, "He's my stepfather … he's been looking for me ever since I ran away when I was 10. "
"You never talked about it before," he softly spoke. Ozzie continued as he tried to keep his voice down, "Brayden also mentioned that this guy … your stepfather … said that he's going to drag you back home by the end of tonight. Dead or alive Kenz? "
The young woman just stood there completely mute; her arms folded in front of her chest and staring down at the floor. Silence hung in the air throughout the clubhouse.
"Kenz, if he's bad news …" Ozzie blurted out.
"He's very bad news," Kenzi quickly diverted her attention to the young man in front of her. Tears slowly came to her eyes. She pivoted around to hide her emotions from Ozzie, leaning her back against the counter; arms still folded across her chest. She stared at the group in front of her as the young man pressed on.
"Then you need to get out of dodge. You need to get as far away from him as you can!"
The small brunette couldn't bear to imagine what it would be like without Bo, Dyson and everyone else by her side if she started running again. It brought a shiver down her spine. The young woman closed her eyes as a lone tear escaped. The people standing before her, these supernatural beings and one human doctor, have become a huge part of the young woman's life. Losing them would mean losing everything to Kenzi.
Bo observed the small brunette's actions. She could tell the young woman was having a hard time to decide what to do. The succubus knew that if Kenzi started running again, her life would be in constant danger; having a human run rampant and on the loose that knows about the Fae is going to get killed. If the small brunette did decide to take off, Bo would never forgive herself if anything bad happened to Kenzi. If she decides to take off, then I'm going with her, the succubus thought. She's too important to me.
"Kenz this is serious," Ozzie slightly raised his voice, the young man's attitude alerting Dyson. Something wasn't right as the shifter glared in confusion. Ozzie progressed, unaware of Dyson's demeanor, "I don't want anything to happen to you. Look, Andrew and I can get you out …"
Kenzi quickly opened her eyes as she gazed at her family; her voice cracked, "No."
"What," the young man exclaimed.
"I'm done running Ozzie," the small brunette answered firmly. "I'm done running from everything bad that has happened in my life … including him."
The young man peered at the young woman with a dumbfounded look. His voice tightened, "Are you out of your mind? Girlie, if you don't get out of here now … you probably won't live to see the morning. " Kenzi gradually spun around to face Ozzie.
Hale started to notice how strange the young man was acting. Why is he determined to get Kenzi out of here, the siren thought to himself. He leaned towards Dyson as he whispered in his ear, "Something is not right here." The shifter nodded in agreement.
"I'll take my chances ," the young woman genuinely smiled at Ozzie. "I'm in good hands."
Seeing as he couldn't change the small brunette's mind, Ozzie decided to change the subject, "Well, can you at least tell me what he did that made you run away from home? "
"A lot of terrible stuff let's just say," Kenzi mumbled under breath as she looked down at the counter, hiding her emotions from him.
"How awful are we talking here? "
The young woman pleaded, her voice strained, "I don't want to get into it. "
Ozzie was beginning to get agitated at the small brunette, "Kenz, you know you can talk …"
"This is one of those things I really do not want to talk about," Kenzi quickly glanced up at the young man; a pained look stretched over her face. "It's too personal. In addition, you don't have to keep your voice down. They know."
The last part slipped out of the young woman's lips before she could stop them. She scowled at herself for saying that. Ozzie glanced over at the group then back at the small brunette. His voice softened, "Oh … I see. You can talk to them about it who you've known for what? Close to a year now, but you can't talk to me, someone who's known you for a long time while you lived on the streets? That really hurts Kenz. "
Kenzi gave the young man an incredulous look, slightly raising her voice, "We were only hang-out buds. We always talked about things Ozzie, but don't you remember? We promised each other that we wouldn't talk about our past." The small brunette turned one last time around to face her friends, her body resting against the counter. She continued, "This time was different."
Her bottom lip began to tremble as she hung her head low. The young woman's shoulders started to shake while she brought her hands up to her face, releasing a small cry. Bo slowly walked toward her best friend and embraced Kenzi in a tight hug. The succubus gently stroked her black locks as she tried to comfort her.
Ozzie couldn't help but feel sorry for the young woman. He never imagined what type of horror she endured all those years. To finally have someone always there for you meant the world to the small brunette. The young man leaned against the counter as he quietly asked, "What do you mean by different? They're only your friends Kenzi, not your family."
The rest of the group gradually strolled over to the two women. The young woman chuckled lightly as she twisted her gaze towards Ozzie, the right side of her face resting on Bo's shoulder.
"Yes, they are my friends," Kenzi began. "But what I've learned this past year is that real friends treat you like family. Family isn't always about blood."
She slowly lifted her head off the succubus' shoulder and stared directly into Bo's brown hues. She pressed on, "It's the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are."
The young woman shifted her azure eyes back at Ozzie as she continued, "The ones who would do anything to protect you, to see you smile and who love you no matter what. To me … they are my real family."
A sad smile graced the young man's face. "They really mean that much to you," he quietly spoke; his voice quivered a little.
"Yes … they do," the small brunette answered. "That's why I'm done running Ozzie. They're my home. They're my everything."
Ozzie looked down at the floor as he hid his trembling lip from everyone, rapidly shutting his eyes to keep his emotions in check. He quickly looked back at the young woman, plastering his face with a genuine smile, "You're a very lucky person Kenz. You are one of the most stubborn assholes I've come across."
The comment made everyone chuckle a little including Kenzi. The young man continued, "But you also have the biggest heart this world has ever seen. Never lose that. It's what makes you special girlie." The small brunette smiled brightly.
The young man cleared his throat as he gently pushed away from the counter, "I … uh … I need to get going. I'm meeting up with Andrew at this new place that just opened up last week. I'll see you around some time. Happy birthday by the way."
Ozzie opened the front door and looked back one last time at the young woman, garnering a smile as he spoke softly, "Goodbye Kenzi." He gently closed the door behind him as walked into the early night. Bo and Kenzi just stared at each other with a puzzled look, wondering why the young man would say something like that.
As he stepped outside, Ozzie reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled his phone out. He made sure the call was still connected. The young man put the receiver to his ear and spoke into the phone, his voice laced with fear and his bottom lip quivered, "Did you get all that?"
"You disappoint me Ozzie," a heavy Russian accent was heard on the other end. "You didn't keep our end of the bargain. I needed you to bring me Kenzi!"
"What was I supposed to do," the young man continued, straining his voice. "I wasn't going to drag Kenzi with all of her friends there; they would kill me before I would set one foot outside."
"At the end of the street is my car," the voice continued. "Start walking!" Ozzie quickly spun around and started walking back to the clubhouse. "Don't … even … think about it. I can see you."
"What," Ozzie exclaimed softly; a lone tear escaped from the corner of his eye.
"You go back inside and everyone that lives with you in your apartment … will die painfully! And when I get Kenzi I will mail her to you and her friends … in pieces! Now start walking!"
The young man's hand shook while he turned off the phone, tears constantly rolling down his cheeks as he began walking towards the car.