Eli glared at him intensely, his eyes ready to submit. "Parker, I asked you a question." Eli said to him.
Parker's tuxedo shone in the moonlight. He took a small step back and looked intently into Eli's eyes. He smiled menacingly and asked Eli in a dark, sinister tone, "Eli, wasn't that what you wanted me to do?" Eli instantly realized what Parker meant. He shook his head slowly as he watched Parker still smiling. Eli felt like knocking him unconscious. He almost killed the only good person related to the Griffins.
Felix Bell, a wealthy lifestyle entrepreneur from a large city called Redwood Heights, was unmindful of what the Griffins did and what they were capable of. To Eli, Felix appeared to be almost too much of a nitwit to not notice their ploys. Or, the other assumption was that he was madly in love with the ever-beautiful Justice Griffin. Justice and Felix had met only a couple of times before they started seeing each other and when they did, things took off rapidly. In about eight months, Felix had proposed and Justice willingly accepted.
Eli had teamed up with Parker for their first task since Dallas had arrived; this was what Parker had called "the mission". But Eli stuck with "the plan".
The only little work Parker had to do was to distract everybody by harassing Felix. In Eli's words, "Kick him a little, bash him." To that, Parker had asked coolly, "How about I shoot him? Ha, ha." Eli had bobbed his head a little and replied indifferently, "Do anything you want. Shoot him, I wouldn't mind. Just distract long enough for me to..." Then he had disintegrated. The reason: Eli was drunk for the first time in his life.
After managing to hold it in, and control it for twenty-one years, Eli gave in when he had his first sniff of reeking alcohol. He had drunk continuously for ten minutes and it had evidently messed his mind.
"You know I never meant it that way," Eli told Parker, pointing a finger at him.
Parker waved him off. "He's fine; I aimed for his abs, but I missed." He pulled out a cigarette from a Marlboro packet. He popped one into his mouth, placing it between his lips while looking for a lighter in his pockets. "Just a mistake. This old man can't be perfect all the time." He chuckled, but broke out into a wet cough. Parker pulled out another cigarette and extended it to Eli.
Eli shook his head, placing his hands on his hip. How could Parker be so laid-back about this? They needed Felix for their work to be successful. He was the key. "Just a mistake? Parker, you missed his aorta by inches!"
"I told you, Eli. I'm old and I'm tired. He isn't going to die or anything." He sniffed and wiped his nose with the back of his hands. The cigarette dropped onto the floor without his notice. He stamped the cigarette butt with his polished black shoe. "We'll resume the first part of the mission next week in the banquet."
Eli's eyes widened and he gasped silently. No, it couldn't be. A face came into full view. He knew he had seen the chocolate hair before. "Oh shit," was what he had managed to spit out.
"Eli, what's that man talking about?" Dallas came into full view and into Parker's sight. Parker raised his eyebrows in agitation. Was that Jeanette? His darling Jeanette? Brad's angel of a daughter? Was it her?
He came closer to Dallas and watched her like a person setting his eyes on the authentic painting of Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Dallas shuddered as a drift of wind blew her hair on her face. She briskly pulled it back and her voice was low and shaky. She asked Eli, "Who is this?"
Eli closed his eyes for a moment and flinched. For the first time since the almost kiss they had, he trembled with hesitation and an overwhelming feeling of insecurity. Maybe, it was about time Dallas finally found out. But, what if she did not understand the dilemma he was in, and how much Parker and Eli wanted this.
Besides, if Eli told Dallas the real reason, why Parker was doing it. She would want to join them. That was what they needed. Otherwise, she would get insanely hurt and scarred for life. She'd leave Ashford with much more horrid memories. She'd never give Eli a third chance. He knew it more than anybody. Dallas never gave anybody second chances. His heart had leapt when she had agreed to come here. He felt that leap again.
But, now it was for a different reason.
Dallas let her hair fall gently on her face. Her head was down. "He's Parker, isn't he?"
He looked at Dallas. She didn't seem hurt at all. Worse. She looked furious as she struck Eli surprisingly, "He shot Felix." This sounded more like a statement than a question. She looked at Eli, now her eyes full of tears.
"I didn't expect this from you."
Eli turned ninety degrees clockwise and grabbed her hand. He felt her fingers slide brush past his own. Dallas was now away from him, trying to get out of the garden like space. He ran to her and grabbed her hand steadily now. "Stop it Eli! No matter how much you try to deny it, your face tells the whole story." She clawed his hands off hers and yelled out, "I am never going to forgive you!"
"I'm not going to deny it."
Dallas stopped and felt a hand on her shoulder. She had tears in her eyes and it tore him apart to see her so hurt. She trusted him and she deserved to hear the truth once and for all. What would happen after telling her was not up to him. But she ought to have known this a long time ago.
She turned around and saw Parker approaching her too. "This is Parker and he did shoot Felix. But, he did it for a reason."
Glaring at Parker, she asked him, "Why would he try to kill somebody?"
Parker shook his head and smiled. "I never meant for that to happen. I told Eli I aimed for his abdomen." Dallas huffed and crossed her arms. "He's fine. It missed his aorta."
"By a few inches!" Eli butted in.
"Can somebody tell me what's going on?" They looked at Dallas. She shrugged slightly and crossed her arms again.
"First, let me tell you one thing," Eli began, his voice hoarse. He looked at Parker and back at Dallas. "Your parents..." He sighed, "are not alive."
She winced in pain. She had come here for that, but now... Her dreams of seeing her parents... they were all crushed. She closed her eyes at the thought she had of having high expectations. Her guesses were always right. Maybe she was destined to not see her parents.
She controlled her pain and hurt, and sorrow. She didn't want to seem weak in front of Eli and Parker. A tear crawled down her cheek, but she wiped it away. "It's fine..." She reassured herself loud enough for them to hear.
Parker stepped forward and said loudly, "They didn't just die, dear."
Dallas swallowed hard, and glanced at Parker. Her eyes began to turn out of focus. The man seemed like a big blur in front of her eyes. He continued, "Those jerks killed them. Murdered them to bits."
Tears overcame her emotions. "What?"
"I saw Gabriel murdering your father and your mother was also found dead."
She gasped and threw her hands to cover her mouth. She tried to prevent herself from screaming out loud and crying too much. She ended up biting her hand. Eli pulled her into a hug. Now, it was an embrace of consolation, not an attempt to win her back. And she felt it truly in her heart this time. That was why she obediently slipped into his arms and burst out into tears.
She cried in his arms while both Eli and Parker shed a few tears out of empathy. She asked Parker letting go of Eli, "That's why you are getting back at them with Eli."
Parker glanced at Eli and back at Dallas. "Exactly, I suppose he told you why you're here as well."
"No," she wiped her eyes and sniffed. "I don't. He didn't mention anything about me."
Parker rubbed his eyes and continued, "You have to help us get revenge on them. You have to help us."
"I can't do that."
Eli interrupted her this time, "No, Dallas. You really have to. We already have us, but we could use you." She shook her head. "What am I supposed to do if I agree?"
Parker smiled at Eli. "If you are truly willing to of course."
Dallas straightened herself. "I am. I have more anger than any of you can ever imagine or have. They killed my parents." She hesitated and looked at Parker. "Why didn't you help my parents if you saw them?"
He buried his head in his hands. "I couldn't. I never forgave myself for that. I still regret it. I'm hoping that what we are going to do will redeem him."
They suddenly heard a ruffle behind a few bushes. Parker threw his hands on Eli and Dallas, and brought them towards the tent. "We have to move before somebody sees us." Eli nodded and took Dallas with her inside the tent. He looked back at Parker and dipped his head once. Eli took Dallas into the tent.
There was nobody inside the tent except the Griffins, Bridge, and Lorelei. Dallas saw Lorelei hugging Justice and Verity and heading their way. She exited the tent and left. Dallas and Eli walked to where the Griffins were seated. Now Dallas couldn't stand to look at Gabriel and Veronica Griffin. She could feel the anger welling inside her into bubbles and red flames bursting out of her ears.
"Mr. and Mrs. Griffin, I am really hoping that Felix is well." She extended her hand to Gabriel and he shook it. He stood up and left the tent. Veronica stared at Eli's arm around Dallas' waist. Eli slowly took it away and walked to Zed who was talking to Verity and Bridge.
Veronica grinned vaguely at Dallas. She motioned for her to sit next to her. "Thank you, Mrs. Griffin." Dallas sat on the chair next to her, pulling her hair back into a low ponytail. Dallas shivered. She was sitting this close to a murderer's wife. She was scared, conscious of everything happening around her. She was paying attention to her heartbeat and every drop of sweat that fell on her neck.
"So, are you planning on staying here in Ashford? If so, where will you be residing?" She asked her out of the blue. Her eyes pierced through Dallas' eyes. Dallas struggled to maintain her cool.
"I was planning to spend some time with Eli, but we didn't exactly think about the residential issues. Yes, I have no place to stay."
Veronica paused for about a minute before continuing, "You can stay at the Griffin villa till you go home. We have plenty of space there and Eli's room is quite spacious."
Dallas giggled nervously. She knew she couldn't answer without Eli's notice. But if she were to be part of their plan, she had to make her own move once in a while, and her time was now.
"I don't know about that, Mrs. Griffin. I'm not sure how the others will react to it."
Veronica shrugged and placed her clutch on the chair near her. "Gabriel will be okay with it, definitely. Justice will spend her time at the Bell's. Verity could always find another friend other than Lori and Zed definitely is interested." She pointed at Zed, who was ogling Dallas right now. She blushed and turned her attention to Veronica, who had now left her hair open from the tight bun. She looked like a witch. She was old, Dallas could understand because of her voice and stature. But the beauty she had, was indescribable.
The first thing that had come to her mind was a siren. Striking, yet deceptive. After what Eli had told her, the thought kept returning to her mind more often. She looked like a queen. Then, what Eli had said earlier to her popped into her mind: "Veronica? She's the Serena Van der Woodsen of Ashford. She's the Hanna Marin of Ashford. She's the queen bee."
"So it's final. You are staying at our place for your stay here in Ashford."
She looked into Dallas' eyes and stood up, her movement sharp yet sly like a fox. "Thank you, Mrs. Griffin. I'm ever so grateful." She watched as Mrs. Griffin walked away. Oh, her figure was impeccable; she could be mistaken for a teenager.
But Dallas remembered the saying: "Appearances can be deceiving."
Dallas frowned, but a smile inched its way into her face as the thought of revenge exploded into her mind. She bit her lip and smiled wider to herself. She stood up slowly and decided to go over to Verity, Bridge, Zed and Eli. She smirked and said, "This is only the beginning. Revenge is sweet."
Thumbs up!!! Dallas finally finds out. I'm so sorry if it didn't meet your expectations. I am terribly busy and I desperately find time every day to type up a good chapter. I have my O/Ls coming up as well. The following chapters will be short like this and the seventh chapter. But I can promise you that I will post regularly. Thank you for your views. I love you all so much.