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Ivan's life takes a dangerous turn when his past catches up to him. After fleeing his hometown years ago, he's forced to confront his old demons and the woman he once loved. But when his life is threatened, he finds unlikely allies in two hitmen, Jade and Preston, who refuse to let him die. As they race to outsmart Ivan's ruthless pursuer, emotions run high between Ivan and Preston. With Jade by their side, the three of them must navigate the dangerous waters of their growing feelings and the life-threatening situation they're in. As the threat closes in, Jade steps up to protect the two men she's come to care for, even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice. But will it be enough to save them from the deranged person from Ivan's past who's determined to destroy everything Ivan holds dear? Find out in this action-packed tale of love, redemption, and friendship.

Chapter 1

Part one

- The Letter -

Ivan typed furiously at the keyboard, beads of sweat formed on his furrowed brows as his fingers danced on the keyboard, eyes fixed on the glaring screen of his computer. His thought process was rudely interrupted by his phone buzzing next to him. The caller ID made him tense for a hot minute before he picked up the call.

"Yes sir, I will update the changes and let you know when the server can be up and running." Ivan ended the call with a sigh. He had been working all day on a project and had barely had time to eat. It was already 3. pm and his son, Dominic would be back from daycare in an hour. He saved his work and rose to begin his other duties. Working from home wasn't as bad as he thought, with a cleaner coming in once a week to do a thorough cleaning, all he had to do was cook.

He prepared Dom's snacks he also made a simple stew that they would have later with whatever Dom wanted, and laid out his pajamas for him. He took a quick bath while his stew slow-cooked. He was done and had a few minutes to spare while he waited for the van so he prepared a sandwich and smoothie for himself. Dom hated smoothies. Not long after he started eating, he heard the van honking and knew his son was back. Opening the front door, he saw Dom struggling to step off the van.

He did this all the time, Ivan to help him out of the car because he was a big man like papa, always said. After almost plopping on the asphalt, he made it to his dad's open arms for a hug.

“Papa is home.” Dom beamed at his dad and all the worries of unmet deadlines left Ivan’s body. Dom was his little ray of hope, his sunshine, his life, his everything. They went inside and did their papa and son evening routine. By 8 pm. Dom was asleep in his room. Ivan went back to his office at the corner of the living where he had set up his workspace and resumed his work.

Ivan was startled from his work when he heard his son cry out. He tried to push away the unease that crept up his spine and settled in his stomach as he heard his son again.

“Papa! papa! where are you!”, the little boy cried as he dragged his blanket across the hallway to the next room and It was enough to make Ivan reach out for his son.

He noticed the halls were dark as he made his way into his son's room which was strange, the house was never dark, Dom would never sleep anywhere remotely dark. Mushroom night lights were spread evenly around the house so that Dom would always find his way to his dad's room in case he woke up, like now.

“I’m here Baby, papa is here now, it's okay”, Ivan cooed as he bent down to pick up his son. This was the second night Dom left his room and he was starting to get panicky.

“What's the matter, baby? what's wrong?”, He asked the sniffling child in his arms.

“I had a bad, dim papa. The bad guy stole all the nai-lais and took you away papa. I don't want you to go p-papa”. Baby replied even more frantic than he'd been and Ivan knew it would be the beginning of his co-sleeping with Dom.

“It's okay sweetie, see all the nightlights are still on, want to go check with me?” he asked Baby while he mentally mapped out the location of the nightlights, “nai-lais” as Baby called them.

They went to his room first and they found the orange mushroom glowing gently and they both counted “one”.

They moved to the next room, Dom's playroom. He stood there frozen for a second as the room was pitch dark, no light illuminated it as it should. “What the actual Fu- fish???” he remarked in fear as he held Dom a little bit tighter. On top of the table where the mushroom should have been was a card folded into two. With trembling fingers, he reached for the note and flipped it open only to throw it on the floor.

Fighting the bile that was threatening to leave his body. He moved hurriedly to the kitchen where he reached for his Taser. He was now on the brink of a full-on panic attack but now was not the time. With controlled breaths, he looked through the whole house and looked for the other night lights in the living room and guest bathroom, they were also missing. To say he was terrified was an understatement. He barely managed to get it together as he dialed the nearest police station.

“Hello, this is Ivan calling from 1556-River view street, I think someone broke into my house and woke my son. hurry please!”. He barely waited for confirmation as he walked back to his room, locking himself and Dom in his bathroom. “Papa, are we playing haisik again? Dom asked innocently.

“Yes Baby we are”, Ivan was too shaken to correct his pronunciation of hide and seek.

Minutes later-Thank God- he heard the police car announcing its arrival with the once annoying sirens he hated , now he welcomed the wails. He hurriedly picked Dom up and headed towards the front door to meet the officers.

“Ohh thank God you are here, I think someone broke into our house and stole our night lights, they also left a note and I don't think I can sleep here tonight, oooh god what if they had taken my son… what if they -” he was cut off by the officer who gently asked him to calm down.

“Sir, take a breath and begin from the top, meanwhile my partner here will do a sweep of the premises as I take your statement.”

Ivan recalled everything that had happened since morning leading up to the moment he made the call. After what seemed like a century the other officer came back out with the note in an evidence plastic bag. Chills ran down his spine as he remembered what he read on the red card.

“Sir, I suggest you and your child find a place to stay for a few days, your place is no longer safe to stay, it is clear in this note that the person is very close and very dangerous, we will stay guard as you pack your personal belongings and we will escort you to your destination,” the older officer commanded rather than suggest.

Tears of fear and helplessness couldn't help but trickle-down Ivan’s face because where was the flipping- fish was he supposed to go in the middle of the night with a child?

Chapter 2

-The Memories-

Ivan wasn't done running, so it seemed and just like he had to run, Ivan had no choice, unlike 15 years ago,this time he had a son to think about. As he packed his things, hands shaking and on the verge of a mental break down, the memories he had forced in mental box threatened to escape and they did… he remembered it all, his past,his family and Him…the boy that started it all.


His parents had been involved with bad crowds, not that it was a shocking revelation. The Zachary family was known for a lot of things; crime, drugs and the bad things his little head could fathom. From the moment he could walk, all he knew was violence and pain. His parents fought over the dumbest mundane things, like, which cars to steal and how to remodel them.

If not that, then, there was always someone getting hurt or hurting his family. His mother was as absent as the peace at home and Ivan did all he could to escape the violence. He ju


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