We dug around in Frank’s business after the first night we met Stella. We needed to know everything we could about her and about him. Justin and I wanted to have information in our pocket in case we needed leverage, and it was time we pulled that out.
Frank was apparently a very loving and devoted husband, but he had some skeletons of his own in his closet before the missus passed away. It seemed around the time Stella's mom was diagnosed with cancer, Frank took up the gambling and drinking, and it only got worse after she passed.
Not only was Frank up to his ears in debt all around town, but he’d taken a few out in Stella’s name too. From what we found, she didn’t have any knowledge of it, and that made it a thousand times worse. Not only was her dad days from a set of broken legs, but so was she. He’d taken out thousands in her name, and some at some really shady casinos. Meaning if he didn't pay up soon, as in yesterday, they’d come looking for her. Justin and I wouldn’t let that happen. Ever.
Frank had enough debt that he couldn’t win it back at any table in Vegas, but we could make him think he could. We called in a favor with Don, and planted a few key players. We knew we wanted Stella, and the way to do it was to make it so she had no choice. It was dirty, but it was the only way we could get her. We needed to have her, and we were prepared to do anything for it. We could keep her safe, take care of any debts in her name, and not only that, if people knew she was ours they wouldn't dare to even look her way.
We silently paid the debts in her name and made a deal with the loan sharks not to breathe a word to anyone. We left Frank with his own for two reasons. One, because fuck him for putting his daughter's life in danger. He made it clear by taking out those loans in her name that he didn’t give a shit about her. Two, in case Stella didn’t like how things went, we needed a safety net. Offering to pay off what was left of Frank’s debt was a big bargaining chip we needed in our back pocket. It may be a dirty way to hold on to her, but we never said we fought fair. Never would when it came to her.
Once that was squared away, we had the poker game arranged and Frank tipped off. He showed up that night with the deed to his land in hand. When setting this up, we ensured the land would stay clear for thirty days because we knew Frank would bet it, and we knew he’d lose it. This man was willing to sacrifice his daughter, her future, and their lives for a poker game. He didn’t deserve her, and we were going to make sure she belonged to us after that night.
Justin and I watched in the control room as Stella came in that night to pick up Frank. We saw the moment she realized the deed had been lost, and we saw how strong she was when she didn’t buckle at the news. Our girl was tough.
We watched silently as Samantha walked over to her and they had a talk. After it was over, I turned to Justin and we nodded to one another. It was done.
I can’t help it. I’m so fucking excited to see Stella. It’s been too long since we were last with her, and I’m ready. Aaron is his usual cocky self, leaning against the wall. Meanwhile I can’t be still. I’m ready to get this over with. The planning and preparation has led to this moment, and maybe once we have her, it will calm this thing inside me. Since the first moment we laid eyes on her, we knew. We’ve been patient and waited for her. She’s the one, and now, knowing we are this close, it feels like I could jump out of my own skin.