OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fiction Series: Heaven's Dew - Part 4

Fiction Series: Heaven's Dew - Part 4

“What the fuck have you done, Paxton?”

“PAXTON, STOP!”

“LANI, DO SOMETHING!”

“LANI, LANI…”

One hour earlier…

“Cruz, I’m so pleased you were able to join us this evening.” Mrs. Camren is sitting between Big Pax and Cruz. Paxton is sitting at the head of the table with Lani to his right. I am seated between Lani and Gavin. The tension at the table was interesting at best. Gavin fiddled with his silverware, tapping his forks against one another. Mrs. Camren continued. “Gavin, right? Paxton has never mentioned you before. How do you all know one another?”

Lani looks from Cruz to Paxton.

“We, actually haven’t met before.” Paxton is guarded. I can always tell when he’s uncomfortable. Lani always rests her hand over his. I guess it’s a habit she’s developed over time.

Gavin clears his throat but doesn’t look up as he speaks. “I’m actually a friend of Cruz ma’am.”

Paxton smirks. “Are you? You seem quite comfortable with Erin and Noelani.”

“Woah Pax, he’s with me. I’m the only person here that is familiar with Noelani.” Cruz is amused.

“I’m actually very comfortable with both ladies.” Gavin finally looks up and locks eyes with Paxton.

Paxton adjusts in his seat as his nostrils flare. “I met him when I went out with Erin the other night.” “Lani holds Paxton’s hand tighter.

“You were… out? That is not surprising.” Mrs. Camren motions for the server to begin placing the meal. “I hope you were able to get it out of your system. You’ll be a married woman soon.”

Lani takes a sip from her water glass. “We just went dancing.”

“I hear you used to love a good party, Mrs. Camren.” I come to Lani’s defense. I hate when Mrs. Camren comes for her.

Lani smiles. Big Pax who hasn’t spoken until now finally chimes in. “My wife was a socialite, indeed. Where do you think Paxton gets his personality from? Definitely, isn’t from me.”

“You know, we all have a lot in common. We’re all familiar with Erin and Noelani. However, Gavin and Paxton have a lot more in common.” Cruz taps his glass signaling for the server to refill it. “They both have outgoing personalities, they’re business owners, and they’re both only children. You are an only child right, Gavin?”

Lani and I both look over at Cruz as Gavin responds. His head is down again. “I have a brother.”

“Well, that’s nice. Does he live here? Is your mother close?” Mrs. Camren asks.

Cruz sits back in his chair and nods at Gavin. Lani shakes her head no. Cruz doesn’t acknowledge her. Gavin looks from Paxton to Mrs. Camren and then at Big Pax. He clears his throat again. He seems to be unsure but Cruz is staring at him from across the table. “My mother is at this table.”

Mrs. Camren chokes, spitting the food from her mouth onto the table. Paxton sits forward confusion overcoming his face. Big Pax folds his hands and looks to Mrs. Camren.

She laughs. “Well, why is everyone looking at me? Cleary, he is not my child.” She wipes her mouth with the napkin from her lap and places it on the table, folding her arms across her chest.

No one speaks. Big Pax’s voice is calm, “Son… you are in our home. Think carefully before you speak again.”

Paxton is staring at Cruz now. “Cruz, what is this?” He breathing is choppy. Lani and I don’t move or speak. Mrs. Camren is looking down at her lap.

Cruz laughs. “What does it look like? It’s a family reunion.” Paxton stands leaning over the table. “Do not fuck with me Reyes. What is going on?”

Big Pax looks at Mrs. Camren. “Speak, now.” Tears begin to slowly roll from her eyes. “SPEAK!” Big Pax slams his fist down on the table in front of Mrs. Camren. She jumps.

“I didn’t know how to tell you he wasn’t yours. So, I just let him go. I didn’t know---I’m so sorry.” Mrs. Camren reaches for Big Pax as he stands from the table. He gently pushes her hand away. “You let me believe I had lost a child. Do not touch me, ever again.”

Big Pax adjusted his shirt and walked around the table. He kissed Lani on the forehead and exited the room. Mrs. Camren abruptly takes up her knife and takes it to Cruz’s throat. His laughter seems to be uncontrollable. Lani begins to hyperventilate, whispering. “This was not a part of the plan.”

Paxton rushes around the table taking the knife from his mother. Almost simultaneously, he picks Cruz up from his chair and slams him down on the ground. Cruz attempts to fight back but he has trouble catching his breath. Gavin rushes to help him, pulling Paxton around the waist. Paxton, forgetting he is holding the knife reaches back to grab Gavin. Gavin falls to the ground, immediately. Paxton, looks from Gavin to Cruz. Sorrow flashes in his eyes for a moment before it is replaced by rage. He drops the knife and holds Cruz down with one hand while punching him repeatedly with the other.

I rush over and attempt to pull Paxton from Cruz who appears to be unresponsive.

“What the fuck have you done, Paxton?”

“PAXTON, STOP!”

“LANI, DO SOMETHING!”

“LANI, LANI…”

Lani is sitting at the table clawing at her chest.  The room is spinning as I watch the pool of blood surrounding Gavin get larger. Mrs. Camren is sobbing. Paxton is standing over Gavin and Cruz panting. I go back to Lani and take her in my arms, now; my voice calms to a whisper. “Lani, please, breathe.” Suddenly, she gasps. I’m relieved. “Fuck, Lani.” Tears are streaming from her eyes as she begins to realize it’s not over. She whispers, “This wasn’t a part of the plan.”

Sweet 16 Preview: Kentucky vs. UCLA

Sweet 16 Preview: Kentucky vs. UCLA

Pats Nation: Thoughts on Free Agency

Pats Nation: Thoughts on Free Agency