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Her heart fell into her stomach. A cold wave breezed across her skin and she sat still. For a moment, she forgot that Hiroto was there next to her.


    “What are you talking about Amee?” Her sister took a shaky breath, tears starting to form in her eyes. 


    “They wanted me to be quiet. But, I can’t do it. You’re my sister and I love you.” 


    “Amee…” She reached across and grabbed her hands. Amee gripped back tight, tears in her eyes mirroring hers. 


    “A… what did they do?” Amee glanced up from under her wet eyelashes and looked at Hiroto who had been softly caressing the back of her hand with his thumb. 


    “I wonder if he’s ready for it.” That got his attention and he looked at her. 


    “I’m only here for Rae.” 


    “But for ten long years you were nowhere to be found. Why now are you here for my sister?” The thumb that stroked her skin paused. Swallowing, Hiroto let go of her hand and folded his hands in his lap. Taking in his reaction, Amee reached up to wipe some of the tears that had fallen from her eyes and sat up straighter. 


    “The story everybody told you where they said they shipped you off to Japan because of a bad deal with the mafia… not all of it was true.” She grew stiff. 


    “What do you mean?” Amee took a shaky breath. 


    “The real reason was… was because they… they no longer wanted you to be in the family.” It grew silent. 


    “I’m…I’m sorry?” Amee licked her lips. 


    “Ebbie, Mama and Daddy didn’t want you anymore. They had reached a place where they felt they could live without you…” She gripped Hiroto’s hand again instinctively and inhaled sharply.


    “I don’t understand…”


    “I’m sorry Ebbie…”


    “When did this happen? When did they suddenly decide they didn’t want me around?” 


    “That I don’t know sweetie. I only know so much. What I’m tellin you I found out by being nosey.” She let go of Hiroto’s hand again and sat up straighter. 


    “What else can you tell me?” Her sister sighed.  


    “Do you know of a man named Peter Lugiano?” She grew still, her breath sharply drawn in. Amee reached across the table and softly gripped her hand. 


    “Ebbie?” She jolted, bringing her eyes back to her sister.     




    “Are you okay?”




    “Well? Do you know him?” She licked her lips and lifted a hand to tousle her hair. 


    “I know him. Why?” 


    “A year before you left for Japan, he showed up at our house. Seems he had been looking for you.” Her hand began to quiver against her thigh underneath the table. 


    “Looking for me?”


    “Yes. He said something about you being his ward. Said you ran away from home and that he had been looking for you ever since.” She gripped her fingers together in a tight fist. 


    “He’s lying.” Amee tightened her grip on her hand. 


    “Ebbie he convinced Mama and Daddy to give you to him.”


    “No…” Tears started to well in her eyes. No… it wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be possible. 


    “Amee stop it. Please. Let’s just stop.”


    “Ebbie listen to me…” Turning watery eyes on her sister, she bit her lips. 


    “What Amee?” 


    “Is it true that… that you were…were pregnant?” She felt Hiroto’s thumb glide across her rigidly closed fist. 


    “….yes.” Amee’s eyes widened. 


    “Is it true that you ran away from him?”


    “I did. But… it wasn’t because of anything he told you.” Amee smiled sadly. 


    “I believe you Rae… I didn’t like him then and something about him rubs me the wrong way even now. Our parents ate it up like white on rice. Tre, Drew and I overheard them arguing one night…this was right before you left…”


    “What’d they say?”


    “Mama said she couldn’t take you being here anymore. She didn’t like how Daddy was always concerned about you and focused on you… Tre and the other brothers either. She even went so far as to accuse Daddy and Tre of being in love with you… said it was unnatural how much they fixated on you.” She felt vomit arise in her throat and gripped Hiroto’s hand, fingers tight. 


    “Sweetheart,” He had spoken next to her… but she couldn’t… she couldn’t open her eyes in that moment. She had too many people touching her… Drawing her hand back from her sister, she placed it back underneath the table and gripped the edge of the seat, eyes still closed. She opened her mouth to speak. 


    “She thought her husband and son were in love with me?” She heard Amee draw in breath with a shake. 




    “What did Daddy say to all this?”


    “He told her she was crazy for even thinking that. That he and Tre had done nothing but try to be a great father and brother to you.”




    “She told him to prove it.” She slowly opened her eyes and her vision focused on the woman she had called sister for so long. 


    “How?” She asked, now her voice empty, devoid of any other emotion. 


    “By agreeing to let Lugiano have you.”


    “I was in Japan. How was he going to get me?”


    “Mama and Daddy completely wiped their hands clean and never looked back. They agreed that they would send you to Japan and from there Lugiano would do the rest.” 


    “He was going to come get me?”


    “All they had to do was hand deliver you there.”


    “They wanted to be rid of me that bad huh?” She laughed bitterly and let go of Hiroto’s hand for the last time. 


    “The truth finally comes out huh…” The hurt that had risen in her voice was so strong it stung.  Everything was making her head spin and her heart twisted painfully in her chest. Amee swallowed. 


    “They told us that you were a complication to the family and that we had to try our best to forget you. They made us promise that we would keep quiet about it if in the event that you did come back.” 


    “How could they do this to me?” She lowered her head and felt the tears that had welled up in her eyes slide down her cheeks. 


    “I’m sorry Ebbie. What they did is horrible and I can’t imagine how you feel right now…It makes me sick to my stomach Ebere. You are my big sister. Always will be. And no matter what, I’m never going to betray you or leave you.” She smiled and pressed Amee’s hand against her cheek. 


    “Amee…thank you…”


    “We’re sisters. That’s what family is for.”


    “Has anyone seen Lugiano recently?”


    “Not in a while. None of his connects know where he at.”


    “Amee,” She looked at her, her own tears creating trails of pain upon her cheeks.     


    “Yes Ebbie?”


    “After all this time… you didn’t once think to listen to them? Be honest.” Amee sat up in her seat and bit her lip. 


    “At first I went along with it. All the while feeling something wasn’t right. I was young and these were my parents. How could I disobey them? I didn’t know what to do or how to protect you. As I got older, I listened to the feeling in my heart instead of the hatred and jealousy Mama spewed every time she talked about you. This time, I’m going to protect you. Our parents couldn’t do it…and that’s fine if they didn’t want to. But to me Ebere Marshall you are family. And family sticks together.”


    “I’ll be here as well.”  He spoke up next to her, gently squeezing her hand. She sniffed softly and reached up to wipe her eyes. 


    “Thank you Amee. Thank you.”


    “Any time! That’s what I’m here for!” 


    “Are you okay?” She heard his voice gentle and soft ask next to her. She didn’t meet his eyes but nodded. Amee twisted up her lips and looked at him just as intently as she did at the beginning of the conversation.


    “We see about you Mr. Freeze. You gotta work your way into this here family.” Amee spoke, eying him. 


    “I intend to. In the meantime, I want to make sure nothing happens to Rae.”


    “Okay buddy… we’ll see.” She said, taking a sip of her water. 


    “I think we should go Hiroto.” He nodded and helped her out of her chair. Amee placed her glass on the table and got up. 


    “Whenever you’re ready to tell me the real, I’ll be here for you big sis.” She said with a smile. 


    “We’ll need a hell of a lot of popcorn for that.” She replied, a small smile on her lips. 


    “Go ahead Mr. Freeze. Get my sister back safely.” She pointed at Hiroto. He bowed his head. 


    “Of course. It was nice to meet you.”


    “Mmhm.” A hand carefully on her waist, she let him lead her out of Joe’s and into the car. 






    The ride back was quiet. Her mind ran a thousand miles a minute. The details of the conversation she had just had spun on loop in her head. All of what Amee had told her…It was still hard to believe. How… how could her parents do this to her? How could they live with the fact that they too abandoned her? 


    “This is all bullshit.” She spoke out loud, tightening her fists.


    “I’m sorry sweetheart.” 


    “Your sorry ain’t gon do anything so you can keep it.” She turned away from him, an angry expression on her face.


    “You wasn’t even supposed to hear all my business…” She muttered under her breath.




    “Just drive…” He closed his mouth and focused back on the road. She felt like an open wound that was getting more and more infected. And nothing was getting done about it.     


    “Jesus. ” Even in the depths of her hurt, she knew she hadn’t made it in another land by herself. The things she went through there… only reason she survived was because of Him. After a while, she spoke again,


    “I apologize…” He looked at her as they pulled up to a red light.     




    “Being a bitch.” 


    “You aren’t-”


    “Yes. I am. I’m sorry.”


    “It is I who should be apologizing.” 


    “Look…” She turned to face him. 


    “You gotta give me time Hiroto.”


    “I’ll give you as much time as you need.”


    “I can’t do this right now. With you.”


    “I understand completely.” Things were silence before he spoke again,


    “We were first friends right?” She bit her lip. 




    “Promise me one thing.” 


    “What is it?”


    “You won’t do it alone.” 




    “No matter what, I will be here for you.” She shifted in her seat and didn’t speak for the rest of the time. 








    “Nug? It’s 2 in the mornin. What’s wrong?” A gruff voice asked. She gripped the phone as she sat in bed, a small lamp on. 


    “There a lot going on that I need some help understanding.”


    “What’s up?” 


    “I just been thinking lately… somethings ain’t seemin right. With how everything went down sendin me to Japan.” She heard a shuffle. He sat up. 




    “Yeah. I wanna know the real reason y’all sent me there.”


    “The real reason?”


    “Why did I have to completely leave the country? We don dealt with the mafia before. I never had to leave the state of New York.” He was quiet.


    “Tre?” Still… silence…


    “If there is something you wanna say, say it now.” 








    “Can’t? Or you won’t?” 


    “I don’t want to hurt you…”


    “You not telling me will hurt me more Tre.” He sighed heavily. 


    “What is it you wanna know again?”


    “Why did they send me to Japan?” It was quiet before he spoke again. 


    “They tried to erase you. They stopped talking about you. They even made us promise not to mention anything to you if you came back. It was crazy…” She flared her nostrils. 


    “I see.”


    “Baby girl-” 


    “I can’t believe it…”


    “I’m sorry Rae…” 


    “Thanks for tellin me…”


    “No matter what they tried, I’m still your brother.” 




    “I’m here if you need anything Nug.”






    “Yeah. Night.” She hung up and threw the phone on her bed, getting up. Grabbing her keys, she got in her car and went for a drive to clear her head. All of this was entirely too much for her to handle. At this point, she didn’t know who to turn to or who to trust. How much more heartbreak could she handle before she shattered past the point of no return?

Chapter End Notes:

A/N: (** Upset cause it's currently 4:33 am and I literally had to retype my whole Author's note *sigh** Okay! :) Calming in 3..2..1!) Poor Rae! My heart just hurts and I can't even imagine how she feels! To know that both her adoptive parents and birth mother abandoned her and the love of her life Roto...How much more heartbreak can one woman take? The things we go through sometimes in life, the pain we suffer... sometimes we ask God why... we get angry at Him and blame Him. We criticize him for things... but see y'all... if we knew... if only we knew that the things we go through aren't in vain! They aren't a waste of time! And that God never places more on us than we can bear! He knows we can handle whatever comes our way!! How? He gave us His son Christ Jesus and through Him we can do ALL things!! Just like God never leaves us astray or forsakes us... never desires anything horrible, bad or evil to come our way... Rae will get through this. She'll have to be broken before she can be crushed into that diamond! <3 I believe now more than ever that her healing process will start. And the journey back to her love will soon follow! :) <3 That's all for now guys! Love you! Please review as always! Constructive criticism is always welcome and much appreciated! Till next time, be blessed!! 




Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 

Revelation 21:4 (KJV) "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.