Trigger warning: It gets intense as there is talk of rape and sodomy, and murder in the next two chapters. I PROMISE it ends in a happy ending for these two, they just have to get there. Thank you for those who are hanging in there so far, showing them love through your votes and comments. If you are starting here in Chapter 6 you missed their whole love story so please go back and start from the beginning. Also, you have my permission to skip this chapter if you don’t want to know what happens in Ireland with Jack and how Ethan is coping; and jump to their reunion in Chapter 7.
As Jack turned the corner into terminal 5, gate 28, he saw them: June, Henrietta and Mina. Henrietta saw him first and stood up and they followed her. Jack walked over and shook his head. “No.”
Henrietta said, “Too late. We’re all on the same flight. The Fraziers are going for a business meeting in Dublin. My schedule is jam packed for the next couple of weeks. That’s our alibi. What’s yours?” She raised her eyebrow.
Jack said, “I don’t need one. I don’t exist.” He showed Henrietta the passport under the name Jamier Edmin.
“That’s the stupidest name I’ve ever heard of,” Mina said.
Jack said, “Exactly. Common names actually stand out, like John Smith. No one will think twice about a weird name because so many people in the world have weird names.” He turned to June, “And you can’t travel under your name, it’s a dead giveaway.”
June rolled her eyes, “I’m not a complete idiot you know. I got my passport ages ago.” She showed her passport under her adopted name, Elizabeth June Frazier.
Jack shook his head again. “You can’t stop me.”
“We don’t want to stop you,” Henrietta said. “We want to help you.”
“So you don’t die,” Mina whispered and smiled.
“Your plan is substantial but poorly executed if it ends in your demise, with no more of a 15% probability of survival,” Henrietta said. “My plan is better.”
“Our plan she means,” Mina said. “Our plan ends with minimal bloodshed, none of which is yours.”
“It’s too late Jack. We’re all in this together,” June said. “And either we come back together or we don’t. I told you, you can’t protect me anymore, I’m not a child. But as adults, we can protect each other.” She reached out for a hug and he hugged her back.
“OK Etta, I’ll bite.” He said. “What’s this plan of yours?”
“Not here genius,” Henrietta said. “Dad has an old commercial property in Dublin that he’s been trying to sell for decades, it’s abandoned. We’ll set up shop there and use it as headquarters. Then we’ll talk.”
Ethan woke up the following Friday morning feeling numb. He was tired of all the mixed feelings he was feeling. And his apartment looked like shit. He had kept EJ home with him all week and been hibernating in for the last couple of days. He made the mistake of venturing out to Mass last Sunday morning and everyone was looking at him, pretending that they weren’t. But he tried to focus on what he was doing there, to say a prayer for Jack and his sister and cousins, and to keep EJ’s routine consistent.
And EJ was almost four years old so he knew there was an absence in his life. He asked this morning as he’s done every morning since last Friday, “Where’s Jack?”
Ethan simply said, “Jack went on a trip.” And he changed the subject as he has done before.
As soon as Mass was over on Sunday, he picked up a sleeping EJ and headed home. He heard his name called behind him, “Ethan! Ethan!” He turned to see Marie running toward him. She gave him a hug and he hugged her back with the one arm he had available. She held him by his waist and said, “Don’t give up on him, OK? I know he’s coming home, they all will. We just have to keep praying for them. You hear me, son? Don’t give up on him.”
She had tears running down her face and he had to wipe his own tears forming. He could barely talk, but he nodded and hugged her back, and walked quickly back to his basement apartment to be alone. This was why he avoided contact with people; he couldn’t control his emotions, especially the waterworks. Ethan is not a crier so every time they fall without warning it saddened him. And his poor family had no idea he planned on not coming back at all. What an asshole, he thought.
It had been a full week since Jack left him standing in front of the Inn and he was back to being angry. Not just angry at Jack but angry at this whole ordeal. It was drama. Drama that he didn’t need in his life and just didn’t want anymore. He needed a sense of normalcy in his life again, and it starts today. He got up, dropped EJ off at school, and came back to the Inn. He didn’t speak to Stacy when he left but as he came back in she called him.
“Ethan.” He turned to look at her. She said, “Just…don’t worry about things up here, I got this. Take care….take care of yourself. We’re all worried…so I just don’t want you to worry about what’s happening up here. OK?”
He smiled at her. “Is this your way of asking canlı bahis for a raise?”
She smiled widely. “Well…now that you mentioned it….”
“Thanks Stacy. I couldn’t do any of this without you. The Inn is just as much yours as it is mine,” he told her. She came around the counter and ran up to hug him, which he allowed.
Then she asked him, “Are you OK? Because Liam is not OK. Not at all. I’m so worried about my brother, and you.” She had so much concern in her voice that he had to tell her the truth.
“No, I’m not. So thank you for taking care of things that I just can’t right now. I really appreciate you.”
She nodded. “Ok. My two favorite men are hurting right now and I just wish I could help you both, or at least take your pain away.” She had tears in her eyes. He was so sick of people crying around him, that was not helping him get over Jack at all. He looked over her head when he spoke.
“You’re doing great, Stace. I promise. Thank you.” He hugged her again.
He went downstairs and looked at his dishes piled up in the sink, laundry piling up in the hallway, bathroom unclean, and his room that had Jack’s stuff still all in it. He was proud of himself for not drinking, but this depression shit is for the birds. He was officially over being sad. He put on No More Drama by Mary J. Blige on repeat, started in the kitchen and worked his way down.
Broken heart again/Another lesson learned/Better know your friends/Or else you will get burnt/Gotta count on me/Cause I can guarantee that I’ll be fine….
He filled the dishwasher, and scrubbed the sink, bleached down the counter tops and sink, swept and mopped the floor and pulled the garbage from the bins to put by the doorway. He put Jack’s mug on the counter along with his water bottles and bottles he uses for his morning shakes. Dining room next.
No more pain/No more pain/No drama/no more drama in my life/No one’s gonna make me hurt again
He packed all the mail into a pile to go through later and wiped the table down. He swept the dining room all the way into the living room, then started packing EJ’s toys into the toybox. He took off the slip covers from the couch cushions to add to the growing pile of laundry in the hallway, then took the vacuum out of the front closet to vacuum the sectional rug. Then he wiped down the TV and TV stand, taking a thick layer or dust off the top.
Why’d I play the fool/Go through ups and downs/Knowing all the time/You wouldn’t be around/Or maybe I like the stress/Cause I was young and restless…
Ethan swept the hallway and made three piles of dirty clothes: whites, brights and darks, just like his mother taught him. His mother had been calling him every day for the last week and he has been avoiding her calls, and texting back only: I’m fine, mom, do not come here. Her and Marie have gotten really close in the last year so he knew they had been talking and she knows he is not fine. But what could he really say to her? He started the laundry with colors so he could put the cushion covers back on first.
No more tears/ I’m tired of crying every night/No more fears/I really don’t wanna cry/No drama, no more in my life….
Ethan went into the bathroom and scrubbed the tub first, then the tile walls. He wiped down the sink and wiped the mirror clean, then scrubbed the toilet. He took out Jack’s razor, toothbrush and other items and moved them to the bedroom. Then he came back and took out the overflowing garbage to the front door, and swept and mopped the floor. It was Jack’s turn to clean the bathroom but he’s not here now, so Ethan has to do it all alone.
No more drama in my life/I don’t ever wanna hurt again/Wanna speak my mind/wanna speak my mind…
He saved his room for last, for a reason. He emptied out a bin of books he had and started pulling Jack’s clothes from his drawer. He packed Jack’s clothes, sneakers, toiletries, books, CD’s and other miscellaneous items neatly in the bin, went to the kitchen to grab Jack’s mug and bottles to add it to the bin and closed it. Then he stripped his sheets and added it to the piles of laundry. He moved Jack’s bin to the front near the garbage he had pilling up.
Ooh it feels so good/When you let go of all the drama in your life/Now you’re free from all the pain/Free from all the game/Free from all the stress/to find your happiness…
Ethan swept his room clean, organized the items he had in his headboard bookshelf and put fresh sheets on the bed. He hadn’t changed the sheets since before Jack left because it smelled like him. He switched the clothes from the washer to the dryer, added another load, then started taking the trash out one bag at a time. He tried to ignore the fact that Jack’s truck should be here any moment now to take away the trash, but Jack won’t be working on it.
He went back inside and saw that Jack’s bin was last. He picked it up. Then he put it back down. He leaned against the wall outside of the kitchen and closed his eyes.
I don’t know/Only God bahis siteleri knows where the story ends for me/But I know where the story begins/It’s up to us to choose/Whether we win or lose/And I choose to win….
Ethan opened his eyes, took Jack’s bin and put it in the front closet.
Henrietta had been following the car for about 45 minutes waiting for a moment to strike when Paul “Barney” Barnes turned down a tree lined street he typically takes to see his mistress, and when he did that’s when she knew it was time. She accelerated and ran her car into the back of his, hard. She sat in the car and waited. Barney jumped out, slammed his car door and went to look at the damage, then looked at Henrietta still sitting in her car holding onto the steering wheel, white gloves on her hands.
He was furious. She tried to look at scared as possible. Her heart was beating fast in anticipation. Barney started yelling at her in a heavy Irish accent, “You stupid cunt! Get out of the fucking car!”
She slowly pulled down her window halfway. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize you slowed down.”
Barney said, “I didn’t slow down, you brainless cunt, you sped up.” Another car came behind Henrietta’s as Barney continued to berate her. “Fucking stupid American cunt. None of you can drive!”
Jamison got out of the car and walked over and spoke in a Galway accent, “Is there a problem?”
Barney spoke back in Galway accent, “Fucking stupid American cunt just rammed my car.”
“Wow, that’s no way to treat a lady. Where you raised in barn, Barney?” Jamison asked.
Barney was about to respond, but then realized he said his name. “How the fuck do you know who I am?” He started walking towards him. Henrietta slowly opened up her car door as Jamison aka Jack got his attention.
Jack said, still in character, “Oh I know a lot of things about you, Paul. I know your legal wife stays on Wellington, while you’re currently driving to your other wife, Lisa. I know her son hates you, told me so himself in the chats. But he doesn’t say anything out of fear you’ll hurt him or his mum. But I told him, he won’t have anything to fear anymore real soon. He’s not going to be afraid much longer.”
Barney was almost in front of Jack. He said, “Yea boy? Why is that?”
Henrietta stabbed Barney in the back of his neck with a syringe filled with ketamine and chloroform. Barney hollered, swung backwards hitting Henrietta in the face and she fell down. He started walking towards her but the effects of the drug started kicking in. He stumbled a bit, then dropped to his knees, clutching the back of his neck. His vision blurred.
Jack walked up to him and bent down and said, “Sean won’t be afraid of you anymore, because I’m going to take care of his problem and make you disappear.” Jack stood up and kicked him over. Mina and June jumped out of the backseat of the car Jack was driving, also wearing white gloves. The four of them dragged Barney into Jack’s trunk, then Henrietta and Mina got into Barney’s car and drove it closer to Kilnamanaugh, where Barney was headed.
June moved the car Henrietta was driving into the wooded area as far as it could go, then wiped everything down with bleach and ammonia, even though they all wore gloves, and left it there. Since Jack paid for the used car in cash, it couldn’t be traced to anyone. June got back in the car with Jack and they drove to the warehouse next to the river in Terenure.
The drove around to the docks ramps, entered the back way and locked the gate behind them. They sat in the car and looked at each other. He said, “You OK so far?”
“Yea,” June said. “It was scary, but I’m OK.”
“You can go back to the hotel. You don’t have to do this part with me.”
“No, I want to stay,” June said. “I know you are going to ask him questions and I want to know the answers too.”
Jack said, “Okay.” He pulled a gun from the glove compartment. “Keep this on you at all times. Just in case.”
June was not afraid of guns, Uncle Henry taught them both to shoot, but she hesitated. “I’m not going to take a life Jack.”
“I would never ask or want you to do that. I’m saying, if something goes wrong, you have the means to protect yourself.”
“Okay,” June said, and took the gun from him. It was heavy and loaded. She leaned back on her seat and sighed, stared straight ahead into the empty room. It used to have wood paneling but someone stripped it and it was broken pieces of wood everywhere. This is where they would find their answers.
Jack looked at her and again asked, “You sure you are OK?”
June said, “Yea. Just…thinking about Liam.”
Jack grew stiff, shifted in his seat and faced forward. “You better not have called him!”
“No! Of course not!” They were silent for a moment. The last thing Jack needed right now was to be reminded of home. Of him.
June started gently, “Jack-“
But Jack knew where she was going with this conversation and yelled, “NO!” He jumped out the car, slamming bahis şirketleri the door before she could say his name and try to talk to Jack about the one thing he refused to talk about. It was bad enough Ethan was his last thought every night before going to sleep, he and EJ both his first thought waking up every morning.
Interestingly the nightmares he was having while laying beside Ethan have stopped, replaced by dreams of he and Ethan together. He had been in Dublin about a week and a half and every night he saw Ethan’s face. Sometimes reliving moments they have had together; the first kiss and how they laid together holding hands; the first time Ethan made him holler incoherently in bed; Ethan showing Jack how to make pancakes from scratch; the first time they made love without protection; the first I love yous; the last I love yous.
Other times it was dreams of a life they could have had together: A house full of kids living in Greenwich in a mansion by the water; three little girls running around a restaurant as an older Ethan and Jack talked to a younger couple they called “baby gays” about their experiences; making love at sunrise on someone’s beach somewhere. It was almost like a different kind of nightmare, these dreams, and he woke up every morning in tears, his entire chest in so much pain every day.
Then he would go for a run and push those feelings and thoughts all the way down, and focus on what he needed to do. Right now Ethan’s face came to his mind and he needed it to stop. He closed his eyes and stretched, took some deep breaths and slowly exhaled to calm down. Jack was not someone who allowed his emotions to control him in intense situations, and he wasn’t going to start now. He needed to be focused on the task at hand.
He heard the side door open and that got his attention. Mina and Henrietta came through, locking the door behind them. Jack said, “Lets do this.” It was time to begin.
The four of them dragged a heavy Barney out of the trunk, who was still knocked out. They raised him into a chair, tied his feet to the bottom and hands behind his back with wire. Jack said, “Wake him up.”
Mina pulled out another syringe, this one filled with adrenaline. “Who knew this nursing degree I’m getting would come in handy?” She joked.
She popped up a vein and shot him with the needle. Barney yelled awake. He looked around at the four faces in front of him, and tried to move around but realized he was bounded. He yelled, “What the fuck do yer think yer doing!? Do yer know who the fuck I am!?”
Jack said calmly and in his Irish accent, “Yes. You’re the man who raped and killed my mother.”
Barney eyes narrowed and he said coldly, “I’ve raped and killed a lot of cunts, lad. You’re gonna hafta narrow it down.”
Jack nodded, giving him a small smile. “Betsy Redmond. Jamie Redmond’s wife.”
Barney’s mouth opened in shock, then he started laughing. “You’re Red Jamie’s son! Ha! I knew it! I told Danny. I told’em, yer were alive, to keep looking, but he said to let it go. You and yer sister. Which one of the lovely ladies behind yer is it? The cunt who rammed me, innit?”
“No, you piece of shit,” Henrietta said nastily.
Barney laughed. “Doesn’t matter which one, yer all gonna be dead cunts soon enough.”
“Well see about that,” Jack said. “In the meantime, it’s story hour. Why’d you do it? Why did Danny order the hit? Why did they have to die?”
Barney laughed again. “Yer got balls on you son. Just like Jamie. Yer look like him you know? A real black Irish if there ever was one. Yer should know I hated him. He always thought he was better than everyone, the smartest one in the room. Just like you right now. Thinking yer gonna get away with this. But yer won’t. Just like Jamie, yer aren’t a killer. But yer probably a rat and a sneak. Yer probably wearing a wire right now, trying to get me to confess. Well fuck off little Jamie.” He spat at him.
Jack took off his shirt and tank top, revealing his bare chest. He got closer to Barney and said quietly, “I’m not wearing a wire.” He pulled his gun out from the back of his pants, holding it down to his side, finger on the trigger. “And I’m not Jamie. I’m Jack. You’ll do well to remember that.”
Barney smiled. “Looks like Danny should have kept yer around, raised yer as his own.” He laughed but it was cut short as Jack raised his gun, turned it around and hit Barney across the face three times with the butt of it. June covered her mouth and turned to Henrietta’s chest who hugged her. Mina watched in fascination.
Jack said in a calm voice, “I asked you, why did Danny order the hit? What happened?”
Danny coughed and spit out blood and a tooth. “Fuck, yer aren’t Jamie.” He laughed and smiled a bloody smile at Jack. “Yer know nothing. Spent the last twenty years crying about yer traitorous father and slut mother. They got themselves killed!”
“How? How did they get themselves killed?” Henrietta asked, still holding June.
“By being traitorous, yer stupid cunt!” Barney spatted. “Did yer not just hear me? He betrayed the Family. The Family that he was a part of. He was one of us, and he betrayed us.” Jack didn’t react to that knowledge but it surprised him.