Fiction Series: Heaven's Dew - Part 9
Mrs. Camren’s face quickly shifts from confusion to anger. She’s smart. She knows that I know. She recognizes what I’m about to do. “What does he know, Noelani?”
“It’s okay, Mrs. Camren. We can tell him everything now.” I force tears to fall from my eyes.
Mrs. Camren’s heavy breathing becomes evident as the rise and fall of her chest begins to increase. Paxton looks from her to me waiting for one of us to speak again. “Mrs. Camren, it’s okay.” I say as I begin to sob. “It’s okay, Mrs. Camren.” Paxton, alarmed by my trembling wraps his arm around my shoulders and looks again to his mother. His own tears have stopped falling. His posture returns as his uncontrollable desire to protect and provide for me begins to take over. I had hoped it would. “Mother, what does she mean?”
I wipe my eyes and look into Mrs. Camren’s. “I forgive you, Mrs. Camren.”
Mrs. Camren laughs and brings her right hand to her chest. “You, forgive me?”
“Yes, I forgive you. I forgive you for convincing me to have sex with Cruz. I forgive you for forcing me to lie to Pax. I forgive you, Mrs. Camren.” I throw my face into Paxton’s neck. He hesitates but then I feel his hand press to the back of my head as I knew it would. “It’s okay, Lani. Stop crying. You have to help me understand.” I lift my head and Paxton wipes the tears from my face with his free hand. “She was just trying to help me Paxton.” He takes a deep breath and cuts his eyes to Mrs. Camren.
“Darling, I have no idea what she means. Clearly the stress of losing her friend has riddled her.” Mrs. Camren tilts her head and attempts to make eye contact with me. I keep my eyes on Pax.
“Mrs. Camren, it’s over. We have to tell him everything.” I say this as I gently force Paxton’s face towards me. I look into his eyes. He wipes a tear from my face. “I know that you love me, that you have loved me.”
“Just tell me, Lani. Tell me everything.”
So, I do. I tell him everything he needs to know. I tell him that Mrs. Camren wanted Cruz gone. I tell him she insisted. I tell him she wanted to protect the family. I tell him I was afraid.
Mrs. Camren looks as if she wants to shrink into herself. “This is not the entire truth, Paxton.”
Paxton growls. “Let her finish.”
“It is the truth, Pax.” I continue to look into his eyes. “I’m done keeping things from you.”
“Oh, now she’s done? After she fills your head with more lies.” Mrs. Camren’s voice rumbles through the room. I can feel her rage on my skin. “You can’t possibly believe this…this… this trollop---“
“See, Pax? She hates me. She has always hated me.” I throw my head back into his neck.
“Oh, you have got to be kidding me. Son, can’t you see this is a performance?”
“Paxton. Camren.” Mrs. Camren’s voice suggests her son need make a choice.
“Pax, I---.” My voice is small, gentle. Mrs. Camren interjects. “Shut up! You manipulative whore. You have had your turn! I will not allow you to…”
“Enough!” A voice comes from behind Mrs. Camren and startles us all. Mrs. Camren seems to be frozen. Her fists are clenched but she doesn’t turn around. Paxton and I look pass her at the face of a very, very angry man.
I stand. Paxton runs his hand down his face and adjusts his shirt before doing the same.
Big Pax repeats his words. This time his voice is low but still threatening. “Enough.”