Fiction Series: Heaven's Dew - Part 5
“Noelani, I need you to listen to me.” Paxton is kneeling in front of me, scratching his beard. “Now, you really have to decide. Are you with me?” He looks up at me. I can see the fear in his eyes. I look pass him to Mrs. Camren. She is staring into space. Her hands are resting in her lap.
Erin is standing in the corner of the room. Paxton’s security team has cleared out the dining area. Both Gavin’s lifeless body and Cruz have been taken away.
“Pax, everything is so fucked up.” My hands are trembling. I’m not even sure what just happened. Mrs. Camren’s past was our last card. Cruz skipped so many steps in the plan. I look to Erin for an answer. She does everything she cannot to make eye contact with me.
“Lani. Listen. I know you’re not used to seeing me like this but I need to know that I can trust you.” Pax is pleading now. I close my eyes. “Paxton, I’ll do whatever you say.” He kisses my trembling hands and stands. He walks over to Erin.
She looks up at him. “I don’t have a choice, do I?”
“No. You don’t.” He turns around and looks at his mother, shakes his head. “Ladies, this is what is going to happen...”
Two Weeks Later…
“You seem to be healing well, son.” Big Pax is sitting opposite of Paxton. Both men look in the direction of the window where Cruz is standing. I’ve never seen him look so defeated. I am mixing a drink at the bar in corner of the room. If I was going to survive this conversation, I needed something strong.
Big Pax held his wedding ring in his hand and tapped it on the desk. “Here’s the dilemma.” He takes a deep breath. “We have a dead man and a liar. Now, I’m not sure if time with Paxton’s security team has helped at all but I need to know who the liar is in the room.” Paxton takes his hands from his lap and rests them on the desk in front of him. “Cruz, Gavin isn’t my mother’s son. Erin says you’ve been blackmailing my fiancé. My fiancé tells me you’ve been threatening her. It’s your time, brother. Speak your peace.”
Cruz looks from Erin to Mrs. Camren who is standing with me at the bar. He takes his time when he looks at me. He laughs. “Am I supposed to be afraid? It’s my time?” He wipes his face with his hand. His wounds are still very visible.
“I guess you don’t realize this isn’t a game anymore, brother.” Paxton slides his chair back from his desk as he speaks. “You have this single opportunity to explain yourself.”
Cruz appears as if he’s contemplating his next move as the smile disappears from his face. “Okay, you want the truth? The truth is, your fiancé’s best friend is a whore, a whore Gavin paid to convince me he was Mrs. Camren’s long lost son in order to extort money from us.”
“That is a fucking lie.” Erin yells out. “Noelani, say something.” I look from her to Cruz. “That’s not true.” It comes out in a whisper. Paxton can see my confusion.
“Isn’t it? I have proof. You have my phone, Pax. Go to the videos. You’ll see.”
Paxton looks from Cruz to me, reaches in his desk, and pulls out an iPhone. He hands it to Cruz. “Show me.” Cruz unlocks the phone and scrolls for a moment before I hear Erin’s voice, “You, fell in love. You left me.” I recognize the conversation, immediately. Cruz turns the phone to show Paxton. The video is from the night Erin and I went dancing. The night I met Gavin.
Paxton shakes his head. “What is this?”
Cruz turns off the video. “Erin is in love with Noelani, brother. She’s been using their friendship to help Gavin set us up. I was going to show you the videos and messages sooner but I needed more proof.”
“There’s more video? …of what?” Paxton sits back down in his seat.
“Paxton, you can’t actually believe I would do this to Lani?” Erin has walked over and is leaning onto the desk where Big Pax is still seated taking everything in.
“You’ve always hated me. You’ve always been particularly protective of Noelani.”
“Brother, if you scroll through the message threads you’ll see her texting Lani about offshore accounts.” Cruz tosses Paxton the phone and he thumbs through for a moment before slamming the phone down on the desk.
Big Pax finally speaks again, “What is it son?” Paxton slides the phone over to his father. After a few moments Big Pax looks to Erin. “Erin---“
“Mr. Camren, I would never do this to Noelani. You may not believe I wouldn’t do this to Paxton but I would never do this to Noelani. He’s lying. You have to know he’s lying.” Tears begin to fall from Erin’s eyes as she continues defend herself. “This was all his plan. He wanted the company to himself. He wanted Noelani to himself. He said if I helped he wou---“She’s pointing frantically in Cruz’s direction.
Cruz laughs uncontrollably. “Brother. How long have you known me? Noelani--”
“Everyone, shut up!” Big Pax slams his fist down on the desk. “The evidence is here, son. You know what you have to do.”
“Paxton.” I call his name as I move towards him. He holds his hand up. I stop.
He buzzes his secretary’s desk. “Send in the team in five.”
Paxton opens the drawer on his desk and reaches inside. “Erin, I’m sorry it has to be this way.” Erin reaches behind her and pulls a .45 from the small of her back, placing it to Paxton’s temple. “No, Paxton… I’m sorry.”
“Erin! What are you doing?”
“It’s okay, Lani. It’s over now. We can just walk away.”
“Erin, what are you talking about?” I want to move closer but Paxton motions for me to stay still. Mrs. Camren, who has said nothing, is holding on to my arm now.
“It’s okay. We can leave. We can get away from these people and be together like we talked about.”
“I told you, brother. She’s crazy.”
“Shut up, Cruz.” Big Pax slowly stands. “Erin, I need you to put the gun down, baby girl.” He reaches his hand towards her.
“Don’t do that, Mr. Camren. Please, don’t do that.” Erin still holding the gun to Paxton’s temple looks back at me. “Paxton will let us go. He doesn’t have a choice now. The accounts I set up---“
“See, brother. I showed you the proof and now she admits it.” Cruz has backed away towards the window.
Paxton is extremely calm. There’s a knock at the office door. “Sir?”
“Noelani, say you’ll come with me and I’ll get us out of here.”
“Shoot me. She’s not going anywhere.” Paxton speaks firmly. “And Erin, neither are you.”
“Noelani, just tell me you want to be with me.” Erin pleads with me.
“Erin. Please. Take the gun away from his head.”
“Yes, Noelani. Choose.” Cruz smirks.
“Erin. Put the gun down, now.” I want to go to her but Mrs. Camren is holding me too tightly.
“Tell me you love me.”
“Shoot me, Erin.”
The knocking continues at the door.
“Stop talking or I will. Noelani?” She tilts her head to the side and looks at me as if she’s seeing me for the first time. “Even if you kill me, it will always be me Erin. She will always choose me.” Paxton antagonizes her. She continues to search my face. “Noelani, please… tell me you love me.” She’s whispering now.
“Tell her you love her!” Mrs. Camren finally speaks, pushing me forward. “Tell her!”
I look from Paxton to Erin. Then, I look over to Cruz. “I do love you Erin…”
“…but not like you want me to, not anymore.”
The smirk on Cruz’s face deepens. Paxton still sits calmly, gun aimed at his head. Big Pax seems to be frozen where he stands.
I hadn’t realized I was crying. “Erin, please.”
“Will you hold my hand, Noelani?” She stretches her free hand towards me. I hesitate before moving to walk towards her. As our fingers meet she turns the gun on herself and pulls the trigger. She crashes in to me as I scream.
Mrs. Camren falls to her knees gasping for air. Big Pax rushes to her side. Paxton watches me as I cradle Erin in my arms. Cruz moves toward the front door.
Paxton unlocks his office door using a keypad on his desk. Several men from his security team rush into the room. “Brother, this is not over. Take Reyes back down to the basement.”