I leaned away from Shirley as my phone started to buzz. A smile curled my lips when I saw our daughter’s number, and I brought the phone up to my ear. “Hey, Loralee, how’s – “
“Mama,” Loralee said urgently, cutting through my greeting. “Blake’s in trouble. He just called me, and Huy caught him with his boyfriend, and you need to go and get him.”
My eyes peeled wide as the words spilled out of her. “Honey, slow down. You’re not making sense. What happened?” Beside me, Shirley turned to look on with concern.
The young woman took a shaky breath and let it out. “I just got off the phone with Blake,” she said much more calmly. “Huy caught him with his boyfriend and completely lost it. He hit him, Mama. He asked me to come get him, but I can’t leave the restaurant.”
That bastard, I seethed inwardly. “Don’t worry; I’m going to leave right now.” I started to hang up, but her voice came over the line again.
“Mama, make him call the cops. I don’t know if he’ll do it on his own.”
“Oh, believe me, Huy is going to jail tonight.”
The moment I ended the call, Shirley asked, “What’s going on, Camille?”
“I don’t really have time to explain.” I got to my feet and went to grab my keys from the table by the door. “Huy’s in need of an ass kicking.”
I hurried out the door and down the stairs. I let him get away with just a restraining order when he laid a hand on me. Not this time!
I set a new personal record and broke every speed limit from Newcrest to Willow Creek. I’d never been to the house before, but I had the address and GPS was a miracle worker. In no time flat, I was charging up the front steps.
I beat on the door, ready to break it down with my bare hands, and then tried the handle. To my surprise, it swung inward.
“Camille?” Anna’s shocked voice came from the entry into the kitchen.
“In his room,” she said timidly. “Did Blake call you?”
“Loralee,” I said simply and started up the stairs. “Blake?”
A door opened and Blake’s bloodied face appeared. “Camille?” He asked, echoing his mother.
Behind me, I heard heavy footsteps that could only mean Huy was coming. “Loralee called me. Will you come with me?”
The teenager let out a relieved breath. “Yes.”
The two of us headed down the stairs only to find Huy standing between us and the front door.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?” He pointed a finger up the stairs. “Blake, get your ass back in your room.”
“The only place he’s going,” I said with a calmness I didn’t really feel, “is home with me.” I wasn’t calm – I was livid. I was practically vibrating with anger. How could a father lift a hand to his own child?
“The fuck he is! So you can make him an even bigger fag? Get the fuck out of my house, you worthless dyke.” He kept getting louder and his face went from flushed to downright purple. I almost hoped he’d save us the trouble of going to the police station and stroke out right there.
“I swear to God, Huy, if you don’t get out of our way, I’m calling the cops.”
The man froze and narrowed his eyes at me. “No you won’t. You didn’t before and you won’t now.”
“Unlike you, I’ve gotten smarter with age.” I pulled out my phone.
“Fine,” he hissed. “Take that piece of shit – “he cast a vile look at Blake”- and get out of my sight.” He threw up his hands and walked away from the door.
I watched him go and saw Anna, standing exactly where she’d been when I entered the house. Tears shone in her eyes. I felt sorry for her; Huy had broken her a long time ago. I thought about asking her to get Brianna and come with us, but that might send Huy over the edge. Perhaps she’d find the strength herself to leave when the police came knocking on the door.
I took Blake’s arm and walked out of the house with him. “Are you okay?”
He nodded jerkily. “Y-yeah,” he said, a tremble in his voice. “I just…I can’t believe today. I just want to sleep for, like, a year.”
He started to go to the car but I stopped him. “Blake, you know we have to go to the police, right?”
He winced a little and shifted on his feet. “Yeah,” he admitted reluctantly. I understood why he was reluctant; even if, over the years, he’d wished for his mom to leave Huy or maybe even for her to call the police herself on him, it was different to be personally responsible if his own father ended up in prison.
“I’ll be with you the whole way,” I promised him. Together, we got into the car.