As I drove down the freeway, I cursed at myself for ever believing that Sevin could look past something so deplorable. But earlier tonight, I started to feel hopeful that maybe he would find it in himself to forgive me. Even if he didn’t, I knew I couldn’t keep it from him any longer. This secret had ruled my life for years, and the weight of it was too heavy to bear anymore. It was the only reason I forced myself to stay with Dean, because he constantly threatened to find my family and tell them about the “pregnant whore” he rescued. Back then, I couldn’t risk Sevin and Elle finding out about the baby. Dean always thought I never knew who the father was.
Now that Sevin knew the truth, I had no reason to stay in Wichita, imprisoned by Dean’s threats. Plotting my exit from the marriage and home we shared would have to be done cautiously. He wasn’t going to grant me a divorce easily. But I needed to leave either way. I just prayed he didn’t kill me first.
It was the middle of the night when I got to our house. A light flashed on from the porch as soon as I pulled the SUV in front. Dread filled me as I also noticed Dean’s truck parked outside.
He’d come home early.
I had to make a decision whether to jet away or face the music. I decided that after the night I’d had, I had nothing to lose. I was no longer going to hide from my demons. Nothing could affect me like hurting Sevin had.
Dean stormed out from the house before I even had a chance to exit the car. “Where the fuck have you been? I just called the club, and they said you didn’t work tonight.”
“I went to Dodge City.”
“I thought I told you not to leave while I was away.”
“I wanted to go home.”
“Get in the fucking house. We’re not going to get into it in the middle of the street.”
“Why? Are you afraid someone might hear the way you talk to me or see you shove me around?”
“Get the fuck inside!”
“No! You’re not going to hurt me. I’m not going inside.”
“The fuck you’re not.”
Dean grabbed my arm and began to drag me across the lawn. When I resisted, he slapped me hard across the face.
“Let go of me!” I screamed.
Lights from an oncoming car distracted him momentarily. I tried to run, but he tackled me to the ground, pinning me down.
A car door slammed, and then I heard him.
“Get off her!”
Dean jumped off of me. “Who the fuck are you?”
Sevin charged toward him and shoved Dean in the chest with both hands. “Who am I? The last person you’ll ever speak to alive if you don’t leave her alone. I have a shotgun in my car, and I’ll use it if I have to.” He turned to me, helping me off the grass. “Evangeline, are you okay?”
“How the fuck do you know my wife? You some obsessed stalker from the club?”
“Your wife is my family.”
“She was running away from me when she met you.”
“She was a pregnant whore when I met her, said she didn’t know who the father was.”
Sevin looked like he was about to blow. He closed his eyes briefly then looked over at me. “Evangeline, get inside my truck.”
I grabbed my overnight bag from Liz’s SUV and walked over to Sevin’s Ford F150.
“Evie, you take off with this guy, you better never set foot in this house again.”
“You can count on the fact that she won’t. And if you think about coming after her, I’ll call the cops to let them know about your pot growing operation in the basement. I’ve spoken to several people who’ve bought from you over the years, too. They’re waiting on standby for hefty payoffs if I need them. You stay away from her, and no one gets called.”
“Evie, you’re gonna let this old boyfriend of yours bribe me after all I’ve done for you? I fucking saved your life!”
“You’ll be hearing from her attorney,” Sevin said before walking over to me.
I almost apologized to Dean for leaving him in that way but stopped myself. He didn’t deserve my respect.
“Goodbye, Dean.” I pressed the button to close the window.
Sevin started the truck and peeled out down the road.
The silence was deafening during the ride back to Dodge City. Sevin still looked like he was about to erupt. He wasn’t ready to talk to me, and I couldn’t blame him.
When he finally spoke, his voice rattled me. “You shouldn’t have left my house. I was coming back to talk to you. I just needed the time to let it sink in.”
“I wasn’t sure if you ever wanted to see me again. How did you get here so fast?”
“I must have left immediately after you when I got your note.”
“How did you know about Dean’s marijuana plants?”
“I’ve had my eye on him for weeks,” he simply said without looking at me. “We’ve both been through a lot tonight. It’s too late to drive all the way home. We’re gonna find a hotel, get a few hours sleep. When we wake up, you’re gonna tell me everything. And I mean everything, Evangeline. Every last fucking detail.”
I nodded and glanced over to make sure he saw it.
We stopped at a small hotel off the interstate in Hutchinson.
“How many beds?” the front desk clerk asked.