2×23 “A Party of Pain”
Written By: Chris Coleman and Kelly Zollo
Guest Starring: Sophia Bush (Whitney Hessington-Walker), Megan Fox (Maggie Thorpe)
Warning: Episode may contain graphic sex and language.
Theme Song: One Margarita- Luke Bryan
Jackson sat in the middle of Club XES and the room started to scan the room. Jamal and Rory were throwing money at the dancers. He scanned the room seeing Hunter and Mason approaching him with bottles of champagne. As he looked at his boys coming over he saw Chauncey forcing Simon to touch a stripper’s butt. He laughed as he stood up looking at them. “Man this is popping. I don’t believe in twenty-four hours I’ll be a married man but it’s nice to be able to party one last time without being drunk or high because I can actually say I’m having fun. And did I just say popping man what do I think it’s 2010?” Jackson laughed as he looked at his best friends. “So the new Chronicle came out today and it had all sorts of gossip but man did she highlight Jon’s attack on everyone and that you’re a married man. Hunter I could kick your ass, you married another one of my sisters and this time I’m not invited. No seriously Hunt I’m happy for you and Bliss but Dani and I are pissed that you didn’t invite us.”
Jackson saw Hunter smiling at him. “I understand though, I almost wish Dani and I did that an intimate small wedding. Yesterday she was gung ho for the wedding but after Dimitri, Jon, and all the drama with my dad and mom. Well she’s having second thoughts and I can’t say I blame her but I convinced her at the rehearsal dinner from hell. We deserve this. You know? We deserve to show the world we love each other. I mean that’s all I want for my wife and woman to show everyone how much she means to me and my family. Mason you and Zach are getting serious, any wedding bells?” He asked as Mason poured them champagne. “You know Mase I never thought we’d end up with Fraisers you let alone with a male one.” Jackson teased him as he smiled. “I’m happy you’re living your truth man. Life is too short for us to be anyone else but Mason and the Jackson I am and the Hunter you are. Want to hear some crazy shit? So my father hired Skye Morgan to come back to Atlas Falls to break me and Dani up.”
Mason was happy to head out for an evening of fun he and Zach had decided to separate once at the club so that Zach could talk to his uncle and his cousins and he wanted to spend some time with Jackson. It was honestly nice to just be out and having a good time with his best friends without worrying about if they’d have to haul Jackson out of room with women and drugs, make a call to Jackie to tell them he was high or call an ambulance. He even had seen Simon arrive and knew it wasn’t exactly Simon’s scene but had to laugh when Chauncey all but forced his hand on a woman. “Zach and I are right now just happy and enjoying each other you know? You are right it is good though to be living my truth after all these years and to know that my friends and family support me and my choices no matter what.” Mason said picking up his glass and taking a drink.
“I was just as shocked as you were that Hunter over here tied the damned knot without literally any of us in attendance though I’ll admit I’ve known he was going to propose and marry your sister for a few months. With Dimitri in town I had a talk with them legally to keep Fox here but now he’s going to be in jail and we won’t have to worry about him anymore.” Mason said seeing Hunter look at them both and he shrugged, he knew the plans well before Jackson did with Hunter and Bliss and he was happy about it and happy for them. He laughed as he saw Jamal and Rory eyeing all the girls Hunter and Jackson though didn’t seem super affected by it and he figured that was more their brother’s youth than anything. “For the record I am looking forward to the food and the party. As for you and Dani I think you should owe Simon something I about died when he told me you took her home that night from here, finally after years of telling us you wanted to bed her just to see what it would be like and then yeah I paid him money.” He paused as he took another sip. “You’re dad has always been an asshole when it came to the Fraiser’s not surprised.”
Hunter had wondered how long he and Bliss would be able to keep their secret nuptials a secret when it happened it was honestly something he wanted and Bliss wanted. It was the perfect timing to do it and he didn’t want to over shadow Jackson and Dani’s big day with he and Bliss getting married. Not to mention he wasn’t actually sure that the Devonshire’s would be warm to the idea he was afterall married to Max already. “It was kinda spur of the moment we were going to announce our engagement and everything after your big day. I didn’t want to overshadow your big day with Dani by ruining that or taking away from that and neither did Bliss. I’ve already had my big wedding you know? So has Bliss, but you, man you’ve overcome so much since you came home and got your act together that we didn’t want to ruin it for you guys or my niece and nephew. For the record it’s still weird seeing you and Dani with kids already.” Hunter said trying to even lighten the mood with everything with Dimitri and their friendship. “Dani’s going to lay into Bliss about it too isn’t she?” He said taking a sip of the champagne.
“Enjoy the wedding man like how many times does one get married?” Hunter said looking at Jackson playfully glare at him and then Mason burst out laughing. He did the same it was nice to just relax at the club and just be guys for a night even though Bliss said something about the ladies joining them later. “In all seriousness though I’m super happy for you and Dani, you guys went through a lot of shit to get where you are today. Anyone can look at you guys and see how much you love each other. As for Skye, your dad’s a fucking asshole Mason is right he’s always hated Walter and at one point I wondered if him hiring Dani was some sort of sick revenge. I don’t think he planned on you and Dani hitting it off so well though.” Hunter said looking at them as he saw Simon’s mortified face near Chauncey on the ass of some girl. “So like inquiring minds want to know where you taking her for the honeymoon? Do you need tips or do you think you can handle that part after you guys say I do?” Hunter said teasing his best friend before he did get serious. “You guys want to leave the twins Bliss and I could watch them.”
“I would appreciate that considering both Lauren and mom have these guys circling them. You know your boss called me and personally thanked me for inviting him to the wedding. Well I couldn’t resist when I saw mom light up like that. Man you should have seen her face when he was dancing with her. Hell you two were there she was beautiful and I haven’t seen mom like that in a very long time, she was smiling. Look I love my father and I think we have one of the most complex relationships but to see him undermine my Jackie. I’ve had my Audrey’s and Tess’ but to undermine the relationship with the love of my life. That hurt and I don’t think that he’ll ever stop having secrets and hurting me. I just vow Jolene and Donovan don’t feel like I do.” Jackson said glumly as he sipped the champagne. “I’m sorry everytime I see him I see him getting weaker and more frail. It’s like he’s not even my dad you know? Not to mention I actually had to invite Zerick. My mother forced me. Can you imagine being a grown man and being forced to still play with others. But he is my brother-cousin.” Jackson shook his head.
“Look I don’t hate you and Max didn’t work. You two weren’t a fit but to be fair Max doesn’t fit with everyone. Which is why I like Sebastian so much he won’t hurt my sister and he won’t take her shit either. Max likes to be in the thick of things and Sebastian slows her down now in certain ways. The question to me is, is she ready for that?” Jackson wondered as DJ Willow and Sebastian were dancing and he was picking the next song. “I do have to say though guys that Dani and I are it. Man I have never been with anyone who has made me not only want to be better but understand why I need to be the best. Every day I still get high Hunt, and Mase. I am high on her and those kids. It’s incredible to look at my kids and know that I left my mark on the world.” Wiping his eye he smiled as Mason and Hunter were smirking. “Shut up. She’s my world and I don’t.” He paused when he saw Lowell walk in with assistance from some guy he no doubt was paying a obscene amount of money to help him walk. He was struggling but here he was. Who the fuck invited his father to his bachelor party? Not only that when they met with the girls his mom might still be partying with Dani and Lauren. Those two were the new dynamic duo.
“Dad.” Jackson said nodding at Hunter to help him walk Lowell to the VIP couch. “What are you doing here.” Jackson on the left side and Hunter on the right assisted Lowell to a seat.
“I need to remember this.” Lowell said as he sat down with the boy’s help. “Hunter has married another one of my daughters, Mason has finally came out of the closet something I knew a long time ago, and my son is marrying a fucking Fraiser. Why if I didn’t get to toast this I don’t know who would. I watched plenty of golddiggers go, lots of good ones, but to see you marrying Dani Fraiser and her be the one to help you get off drugs and settle down. To harness what I always knew. You are exceptional but when you figured it out is when all this happened. Jackson, Mason, and Hunter. You boys have always been together. I want you to promise me something Mason and Hunter you watch my boys back okay? He’ll need you, I know it. Jackson I’ve disappointed you so many times I doubt you’d want me here. I can’t explain every choice I’ve made but I know majority of them were wrong with you. I should have nurtured you differently and I um.” He paused looking at Mason and Hunter who were in awe of the moment. “I am here to tell you that I know you all think I’m trash but the truth is coming. I promise you all and I know I may not be much of anything with all I’ve done. I am nothing of what they claim. The truth is coming boys so buckle up.”
“I don’t care.” Jackson said in the calmest tone he could muster. “Whatever the truth is you should have gave it before you came into my rehearsal dinner gallivanting with that old bitch Tess.” He saw Hunter’s eyes which told him to let it be and he saw Mason face which was saying the same thing yet he couldn’t. “No Mason it’s time. You know I could almost fall for that heartfelt speech and how you keep harping that none of Zerick’s stories are the truth. Yet here he is with DNA that matches and you have the audacity to show your fucking face and joke about me marrying Dani when you brought Skye back into our lives to torture me. To ruin me and Dani. Go to hell pops matter of fact who the fuck invited you here?”
Chauncey had arrived at the party for a night out with his brothers and didn’t tell Jackson he had invited his father, he didn’t do it to cause trouble either. He did it because none of then could change their father’s past and this was something that the entire family was celebrating. He had thought about rescinding the invitation after he had showed up with Tess at the rehearsal dinner but decided not too. He saw his brother get angry at his father over Skye and wondered if he had overstepped or not. He had no idea at the time the lengths that their father had went when it came to Skye and her coming back to town, especially what he tried to do to his brother and Dani. “I invited him. I knew you were upset at the rehearsal dinner and what happened with Tess.” Chauncey said looking at Jackson and then over at his father. “I figured you both would have gotten over Skye regardless of what dad tried to do.”
“Gotten over it. You’re right Chauncey, I’m over it when I just found out he tried to destroy Dani and me. Dad pardon me for being rude.” Jackson said looking at his father gritting his teeth as he looked at his elder brother who was doing his best to help the tension. “No, let’s not talk about this. It’s my bachelor’s party and I’m with my best friends and my older brother. I refuse to let this get me down.” Jackson said, ignoring his father. “I think I see Walter and the other Fraiser’s pardon me.”
Lowell had always wanted to speak more about how blind he was. How he ignored his warning from his doctors and how he was sorry. How he needed his son to listen to him and figure out if they were going to be alright for his wedding. Instead Lowell silently picked up a glass of champagne and looked at Chauncey. As he sipped the golden liquid while leaning back. What was the worst to happen? He’d die? He was dying already and Lowell pulled out a cigar and box of matches. He had four all together one for himself and his three boys. He wanted a moment but right now it seemed they were in discord. “I can clear a room now can’t I? Go after your brother. Boys come talk to me,”Signalling Hunter and Mason over.
Chauncey refused to chase after Jackson or the tempter tantrum he was having he’d let Rory do that not to mention Brock was going to be hanging out with that side of the family now. He ignored his father’s instructions instead he made his way back to Simon and the woman on the pole. That was going to be where he spent his evening having a good time and embarrassing Simon in the process.
Mason shuffled his feet in front of him it was Jackson’s night and if he wanted to tell Lowell how he felt honestly maybe it was time that he did that. Lowell hadn’t come to see him in rehab and it wasn’t like it was some huge secret that Lowell pitted Jackson against Chauncey growing up. Pushed Jackson likely into his bout with drugs to begin with and maybe they needed to work through that shit to heal. He had to do it with his father and he watched as Lowell called him and Hunter over. “Is it even good for you to be drinking?” Mason asked not sure what to say to Lowell at the moment to get rid of the awkward tension.
Hunter was trying to be cordial when it came to Lowell he had Lowell at his wedding to Bliss as courtesy and it wasn’t his place to forgive him for everything when it came to Zerick that was on Jackie and the rest of the Devonshire’s. He wasn’t going to argue with Jackson though about how he felt about his father that was not his place. He saw Mason was of the same mindset that he was when it came to how Jackson felt about Lowell and knew it really wasn’t their place, Lowell had hurt their best friend a lot over the years. It was going to take a lot more than some public apology to erase that with Jackson. “Do you need us to get you anything?” Hunter asked seeing the Fraiser’s arrive.
“I’m dying either way Mason.” Lowell said matter of factly as he looked at the young men confused on how to react to him. “I do hope you boys no men honor my wishes.I still look at you three like the rascals tearing apart my home. Protect Jackson because I believe you both are best friends with the future of DGI. He’s finally seen that his potential is limitless. That means that Jackson will be CEO of DGI one day. Cheers boys let the party begin. And yes Hunter bring me some of that Fraiser whiskey.”
Chauncey had seen his brother walk away and honestly felt kinda bad about it he didn’t know Jackson was that mad at their father. He knew that he was mad about their mother and the soon to be divorce but not that mad. He had actually hoped that his father and Jackson could talk it out but the way his brother just walked off was making him question if it was a good idea or no. He saw his father approaching him and he raised his glass to his lips taking a drink of the amber liquid and then placing it down on the table. “Unlike Jackson I’m actually glad you came without your appendage hanging on you. The fact you even brought her to the rehearsal dinner father.” Chauncey said wanting him to know that none of his children were happy with that the shade that it sent to their mother and even worse watching her break down to then dance with a complete stranger was odd. “You knew they didn’t want her there and you brought her anyways, I guess you still have balls after all.” He said seeing his father look at him and he shook his head.
“I could still do it you know ruin this little perfect wedding he has coming up object at the vows or something to throw it off, that is of course if you want me too. You’ve always hated Walter and to see you just bend over and welcome him back in that hurts when you’ve told me to never look back on the enemy.” Chauncey said taking a sip of his drink and swirling his glass watching his father do the same before taking a drink. He wanted at one point to live up to Lowell’s expectations but Greer had showed him last year that he was more than Lowell’s son he was dark and cutthroat and sometimes he craved that side of himself no matter the cost. “I don’t think I will though and you should be happy about that I’d hate to embarrass your new prized grandchildren. Plus not to mention I plan on doing to bigger and better than my baby brother can while I marry a woman worth billions to combine with ours and make his life a living hell on the board and when you give me the CEO position I can crush him that way. He blackmailed her or I should say your new daughter in law did to sign the deal with SandStar and my soon to be wife will never forget that.” Chauncey said he always wondered if his father knew that Jackson and Dani had blackmailed Natasha to get SandStar and it was the first time in a long time he actually feared his brother’s place at DGI.
Lowell sat with his drink in his hand nodding knowing that Chauncey hatred would dissipate as easily as Jackson. His eldest saw the visceral hate between Walter and him. He looked at Chauncey and smirked. “And wouldn’t you do the same? I would hope you’d be just as cut throat as Jackson and Dani were. I have done worse than that, come on and so have you. Without RePlay and SandStar our company would be in ruins. Now I think it’s archaic how they treat Natasha but I would have done and so would you.” Blowing his cigar smoke in his son ‘s face he handed one to Chauncey and lit it as he leaned back. “Bold words but Chauncey, I can tell you Jackson has secured every major deal and is revolutionizing clean energy. Making a profit and trying to save the world while having two prized new heirs. Now I can tell you it looks desperate to be marrying Natasha. You obviously still have my company in your eyes but not that young woman. Is she who you love or is she good on paper? You still are jealous of Jackson from the moment he was born and I saw you hit him. You were a pistol little Chauncey this didn’t just start and Jackson was always sensitive and strong in other ways. The funny thing is Chauncey on paper you are the CEO but every other choice looks better and bolder.”
Looking at the disappointment etched in his son’s face he reached out and touched Chauncey’s hand. “Look I see you as my warrior for DGI and what we have established we need someone in the trenches. Let’s face it Jackson is smart in business, while Rory’s absolute disdain is heartbreaking because he’s a genius in what DGI was started in electronics, while Bliss has a mind for the company and international affairs, Max has constantly shown new and innovative methods to make revenue and when the casino opens we will be making a lot of money. What I am saying is at one point we were in weapons and we are moving past that as we did in electronics. Chauncey your division bled DGI and drained money and not only that but you tried taking what I built thinking you knew better than me. My body is failing not my mind you arrogant little fuck.” Lowell puffed his cigar showing he was amused that he was speaking to his son like this. He’d never but tonight he had only so many days to explain and talk to him. “Chauncey you are dangerous and lethal even I think under the right circumstances. I think with Forbes still being alive, Charles fucking Hessington shacking up with Brenda Kincaid, and the LeClerq’s lurking along with your little plaything. I think that’s more to worry about than Walter and his clan. I believe I messed up and a woman sent me down a horrible road. Some fucking saint we’ve painted her out to be but between me and you Gloria was quite the bitch.” Lowell saw the roller coaster of emotions Chauncey was going through. “You are needed to destroy and I see you have it in you. I need you to protect and destroy and eventually work with Zerick he’s amazing at it. Dismantling people that is. He isn’t your brother but he’s family. He’ll be needed, you all don’t get it my death means all these loose threads are coming undone. People you never thought will be coming for you all. My death means you aren’t in the back, you are the targets now.”
Chauncey leaned back in the booth as his father smoked his cigar and blew it in his face and part of him wanted to hate him in those moments, who had been the one to push him at DGI? To instill it in him that he was to be his heir the man in front of him and now because his little brother finally decided to get his shit together he was suddenly going to come and snatch it from him and with Walter’s daughter by his side on top of it. “Well there it really is the great Lowell Devonshire’s true colors are finally showing even on his death bed. You are the one that pressed me to be like that with Jackson or are you the one that forgets how you raised us to be. You were the one that made me compete with him and made me feel that way about him. You told me I was better than him everyday of our lives and I believed that, or do you not remember him going to score the first time it imploded in his face. Yet because he decided that Dani was worthy of him that it makes him the front runner because she birthed you two new grandchildren? You act like she’s simply breeding stock for the family then again maybe that is her only worth. So they tag teamed and blackmailed Natasha you must be so proud of them.” Chauncey spat back at him before taking a hit of the cigar and exhaling. Who in the hell was his father to judge his choice in bed partners.
“Are you really going to sit here and lecture me about where I place my fucking dick with women? You were one of the first people to actually encourage me to fuck around on both Logan and Selina in your words, I needed to sow my oats a little more. You just said it yourself Natasha is good for DGI so what if I love her or not? You should be thrilled she’s pregnant. You threw Tess in mother’s face at the rehearsal dinner everyone noticed it.” Chauncey said leaning back and looking at his father up and down and he wanted to say more but knew now wasn’t really the time too. His father had all but confirmed his suspicions that he was going to be CEO of DGI and he hated him for it. That was in many ways his birthright and he was going to be passed over by his junkie of a brother for it? How would Rory or his sister’s take the news? “It doesn’t really matter if I love her or not as long as SandStar remains a subsidiary of DGI now does it? Unlike you and mother we have an agreement I don’t ask where she goes and she doesn’t ask the same of me. Maybe it was something you and mother should have considered it would have saved everyone. Or maybe just how we all feel about Tess, Bliss and Belle.” Chaunce said and he looked at him shrugging about their enemies. “I’m not worried about Greer she’ll come back. Forbes it so busy putting it broad on check down and Charles likes the political scene to much to stray from it.”
“And that is why I think you can’t handle being the CEO. It could go to any of the others because they’ve carved identities. I did all of those things to them also in other ways. You’ve taken my prototype and literally perfected it son which is interesting to see but you haven’t gotten your own personality yet. You still aren’t fully your own man because if you were Chauncey, Brock Fraiser wouldn’t have the woman you truly love. I’m not lecturing you Chauncey I’m explaining why I feel the way I feel. You asked I’m telling you why a junkie can beat you and it’s because he was a junkie. Jackson knows how to take risks without destruction because he’s been on the brink of it. You keep thinking it’s about the past it’s not. It’s about the risk it takes to run a company this large. How many lives you have in your hand and people that you have to care about. Look at the janitor in the office just like you do a board member because their job is just as important as yours. Chauncey you like the danger too much and that means you’ll eventually flirt with death and Greer pushes you to that flame even faster. Her ambition and yours is dangerous and powerful together but what I am saying is son out of all my children I don’t know you. A few years ago I wouldn’t have ever expected a hostile takeover from within. You blackmailing the board to give you my seat yeah but working with the LeClerq’s tsk tsk.” He said, waving his finger. Puffing his cigar looking at Chauncey.
“For the record my first million was off Walter Fraiser back so I think we owe them this one. I never should have betrayed him. That is the truth and maybe Bliss and Belle wouldn’t be here. Walter was my conscious and I cut him out for more money and power. As for how you feel, tell me Chauncey how do you feel? I know Belle must be quite a handful but I see all of your response to Bliss now. Even Jackie loves your sister and it’s a testament to you all how you’ve rallied around her. I failed because I should have brought you all together years ago and said this is your sister. Jackie and Tess be damned but I chose the easy route and hurt your sisters for it. But I have to ask Chauncey with all your manipulation and schemes the fact Dimtiri still stands is quite unbelievable. You want this company boy then protect them as I have. I made a promise to protect my siblings to your grandmother and I want you to make me the same Chauncey they aren’t the enemy. What I did was stupid and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m sorry. I’m so sorry I made you think your brother was your enemy because Jackson was your strongest asset. My current will directly states it’s between you two for CEO. But I’m changing that soon and I want this to happen next year and the rest of this year. Now I’m telling you this because for six months he’ll be CEO and for six months you’ll be. I’ve calculated I have at least a year left. Meaning whomever makes DGI the most money is the winner. Junkie be damned if you want it then you must fight harder because your billion dollar weapon is under their belt not yours.”
“All my life I thought I had to be as dastardly as you were, as cunning as you were, as heartless with women and the men you encountered in business. I strived to be that with you with Logan and Selina you encouraged it, mother liked to frown upon it. Then Greer came into the picture and for once I didn’t have to be you or bend to your whims she didn’t care if she was my mistress, she wanted what I did the thrill of being on top.” Chauncey said his father wanted the real reason why he did what he did with the take over with the near take over with Greer he would get it. He would learn that he was the monster that he was and if it was up to him he would still be that when everything was said and done but from the sound of it that was not going to happen. “She didn’t care what I had to do, how many board members we had to blackmail to do it. I didn’t care that she was married at the time or that I was going to marry Selina, who let’s face it I was marrying for appearances and to make you and mother happy. I was the one that told her to release Dani’s medical records and cause that schism between her and Jackson after Egypt. Frankly seeing him succeed, learning that Dani was the one to blackmail Natasha with him pissed me the hell off.” Chauncey said wondering if his father was getting it he tried everything to be like him.
“I tried to be you for so many years I didn’t even know who I truly was until Greer came into the picture and showed me but you see I had to make a choice and I choose DGI over her. She’s with Fraiser now but you know me and you know her do you really think that is going to last? What in the world can he offer her a beat up old pick up truck, a fledgling construction business and a firefighter’s salary? I had plans to be like you with a blonde by my side walking down those steps of DGI and you ruined that for me. Jackson ruined that for me. So now I’m going to do what I am good at focus back in on those contacts that we’ve been ignoring in favoring the energy division, you want a race between us you’ll have one.” Chauncey said he wondered if his father was mad or not it would be so much easier if he would have just picked one of them if he wanted to end the war between him and Jackson. That seemed to be the more logical conclusion that he could have come too he picked up his glass and took a drink. “If the last year has taught me anything I only have my family left in my corner so if you need me too I think I can actually step up to protect them as needed. I’ll never let you oust mom from DGI for the bitch that bore Bliss and Belle, but they are my sisters. I’ve warmed to Belle and I have been rallying with Jackson to help Bliss escape Dimitri.”
“Then go get her and stop this farce relationship Chauncey. Go get Greer because I think having her on our side is better than having her as a enemy. Marry someone for happiness and not financial gain. Don’t do what I did Chauncey I failed in so many ways and I think that this is for the best. You and Jackson are my choices but I have an idea before next year begins. We have to finish out the fiscal year in February and it is the beginning of my contest between you boys. I think competition shouldn’t kill either of you. If anything Chauncey the contest should make you both go harder for the company. That is my goal making you both do the best so that the company thrives. Unfortunately I’m seeing now you two are at your best and most cunning against each other. I just hope when I’m dead and gone you both understand what’s at stake. You seem to think I survived so long without a team that protected and loved me? You two will need each other and that’s a vow. A promise my boys is that I won’t allow one piece of DGI to move without the other. You two better figure it out.” Lowell said looking at his son. “I want you happy Chauncey and you aren’t happy with this Natasha girl. As bad as I fear what you and Greer will do to each other. Son you were alive.”
When he mentioned Tess again he knew that Chauncey was staking claim for his side. Was this how it was going to be when he was dead? Tess children versus Jackie’s, he’d assuredly make sure that wasn’t true. “Have I ever tried to diminish my wife’s contribution to DGI? Or act as if she wasn’t my muse. I finally got out of the bed with Jackie but she’ll never be out of my head and soul. I keep thinking if my choices would be different how would you and everything would be different. How Bliss and Belle would have been Jackie’s children and I never made the moves I made. I promise you son. I promise you things would be different. So don’t lecture me on what I do with the company I bled for. I created and I made into a success. This is mine I assure you and Jackson both if I had more time. I’d show you what to do with all these opponents. You have to be blind not to see that Charles has moved here for the sole purpose of me dying. Leaving a power vacuum and if you don’t suck it up then someone else will. Forbes, Pierre, Harvey, Charles, hell Tess or Brenda the game doesn’t stop because I die if anything for you my dear boy it’s just a beginning. Remember and heed my words Chauncey your brother isn’t the enemy they are. Everyone who will come to take what I’ve built for you all to have and to prosper from.”
Chauncey was not going to grovel at the feet of Greer and honestly he feared Natasha’s wrath things fell through with her he had a feeling she would make DGI pay financially let alone him, plus it seemed to be that Greer wanted Brock for whatever reason. He wondered if his father realized how alike they both were when it came to putting company ambitions above personal ones, he would lay down for DGI and he would do it by marrying Natasha because it was required of him just like it was required of Max to marry Hunter back in the day to spur a few projects with Steven with the city. He would do the same as it was required of him and if he had Greer along the way as his mistress so be it. “I shall consider it father. But for tonight I would rather enjoy the party.” Chauncey said setting down his drink and squeezing his father’s shoulder a bit before he waved to Rory and Jamal near a stripper and walked towards them.
Jamal sparked up the blunt as he looked at Rory. “What today is my last day on parole I’m free and I’m making money off of Ivan’s single and EP. I just wish that he’d um come out I feel like we could break down so many doors. Mason went to see him on Christmas and he said he understood why Ivan wouldn’t but didn’t get how rushing it would be deep down. Mason talks about how he was hiding himself and I just understand that. I was hiding myself scared to be young, rich, black and excellent but here I am. Straight up Lowell gave me that money and I haven’t looked back and I’m thinking we keep this up. I mean okay so what if we do a tech firm? Like a silicone valley in Atlas Falls new innovative shit man. I’m not talking DGI energy, weapons, casinos, and all that old boring shit. I’m talking about let’s start the next wave of technology, let’s create something everyone can’t live without man! I’m telling you we are not built for our parents’ legacies, that’s why we are innovators. We ride our own wave and Rory you built RePlay the app that’s now taking on TikTok and Instagram.” He leaned back as he watched the stunning woman throwing her body around the pole.
“This place is so much better now that Ronan took it over goddamn!” Jamal screamed as he clapped his hands together looking at his best friend. “Rory man, we are not going through this. We got all these fine ass females in our face Val and Aspen isn’t here you won’t sit here and pine over Yasmine. Man I know this is where you met her but come on bro y’all not together. We both lost a baddie but we are here and we have money and it’s time to turn the fuck up because. JACKSON DEVONSHIRE IS GETTING MARRIED!” He screamed as he saw Jackson, Mason, and Hunter raising a glass to him. “And that means the player of Atlas Falls crown is open. Your brother had the baddest bitches growing up remember Esme? Cat? Remember Skye when she first came around? Didn’t he date Skye and Merci at the same damn time. A king is retiring his crown and nigga like me trying to snatch it. It’s hella baddies coming damn you know who I wonder if she’s going to be there? Lucy? Remember Zach’s little sister she was bad as fuck and wouldn’t talk to none of us. I heard she was dating one of Ronan boys and took the time shit.”
Rory waved the smoke off him. The last thing he needed was a fight with Aspen over weed. He was already feeling the tension between them especially after the rehearsal dinner. His brother and Dani basically taking Yasmine’s side over Aspen was something that he was annoyed by but had been too polite to say so, he got it Dani was close to Yasmine and Jackson took drugs from her at one point. He had completely fucked up when he cheated on Aspen with her though over Christmas and he also knew the guilt was eating at him when it came to everything too and mauve that was his problem. He turned to Jamal when he started talking about doing something together, he was not going to be CEO of DGI he had already told his dad no. He really did want to invent stuff when it came to products and services and he really loved working in the technological field with it too. “I already told dad to not pick me as CEO if he does, I’m handing it to someone else Jamal. But yeah we should start our own stuff RePlay has been hot as hell not to mention working with you had been amazing.” Rory said lifting his drink to his lips and taking a drink.
“I remember.” Rory grumbled he also remembered most of the time while it was happening that his brother was high on and off for most of that and not really in the moment. He knew Jamal didn’t mean anything by it but for his family Jackson’s addiction had nearly destroyed them and his brother no matter the bad bitches he was with. Lucy was around their age and a tomboy at heart or at least that is what he remembered not like her sister Kelsey or her cousin, not to mention he remembered her in the principal office on and off too over the years. “I don’t know if she is they have a pretty huge guest list maybe she is on the list you could ask Merci if you really want to know.” Rory said he honestly didn’t know every single person that his mother, Lauren, Jackson or Dani had put on the list. He was still trying to figure out how he was going to make it through the entire thing and what in the hell was going on with him and Aspen and him and Yasmine. “Yasmine doesn’t want me like that anymore and I really do like Aspen man you want to bag a fine lady on a pole do so, I’d love to see your momma’s face when you did. So how was that thing you did with Val and Kelsey the other night?” Rory said wondering if Jamal had enjoyed it or not.
If he looked at it logically if he was in a throuple then why would he be loyal to them? Jamal never saw the point of settling down and with all the lovely ladies out here why would he. Shit with Ivan he had so many girls throwing themselves at him. Not to mention the new hotties popping up. Hell if Selina could have Chauncey why couldn’t he shoot his shot at Belle? She was feisty and to be honest he liked a challenge. It was a couple of ladies he had his eyes on but Belle and he would be a power couple. That shit would be dope to have a woman like her a fucking bad as British bitch on his arm. He wasn’t ready to even broach Rory with the concept or idea because Rory knew him too well. Jamal asked for this throuple and now it was boring considering Kelsey didn’t love him or want him. It was only beneficial to one person and that was Val. To be fair he thought he loved Val but her wavering sexuality leads to him not trusting if she’ll have his best interest.
“I’m a selfish dog. Woof, bro I had both of them. It was crazy because Kelsey is a freak and Val is a freak but I only wanted Val and I know Kelsey only wanted Val so it was sort of like we enjoyed it but it wasn’t what I know Kelsey would want all the time. We all had fun together but my momma would kill me. You know what’s crazy though I told pops.” He said laughing looking at Rory smiling at his best friend. “Like ever since him and mom got back together and shit been good. So he asked Val and me and somehow all this shit came out and I don’t know he was telling me about a time before he got with Mason’s and Selina’s momma and all the women he had. He told me to do me but if Val is going to have Kelsey why should I be settled down. But eventually this shit going to end but right now it’s cool.” He confessed as he looked at his best friend. Jamal folded his arms as he looked at Rory. “Look you look constipated bro and I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on but a nigga aint going to know if you don’t tell me. I’m not pushy but Rory what’s up bro?”
Rory had only had a threesome once with Val so it wasn’t like he was a stranger too it but on the other hand the other girl had been more than willing and it sounded like Jamal and Kelsey weren’t. He didn’t mind that he had one. It was a nice experience and it wasn’t like he was super committed to Val at the time he was young and curious. “So Val rope you into one of her little escapades I should have told you about before, usually she finds a more willing third wheel though. Sounds like in this case you and Kelsey weren’t exactly a hundred percent on board.” Rory shrugged at Jamal when he looked at him well that just got awkward between them and he lifted the drink to take a sip. He had almost rolled over when Jamal had said that he had told his mother though, hsi up tight Catholic mother would have had a heart attack. He got why he told Tony though and at that he was jealous he wanted to have that with his own father again. “Listen it was a few years ago one time and we had fun, I’m not in love with Val. She’s just more fluid than most girls know. As long as everyone is having fun and it’s consensual Jamal you do you.”
“Aspen and I are having problems like I like her don’t get me wrong but she’s insecure about Yasmine. I’ve tried to be good. I really have you know? I don’t want to do what my dad did to my mom with her and Yasmine, but I also can’t seem to get Yasmine out of my head. Not to mention even if I did get her out of my head she is still with Kendrick’s brother so.” Rory said shrugging and folding his arms it was the first time that he had actually talked about it with anyone everything that was happening. He and Aspen had brought it up to Jackson and Dani and that became awkward as fuck pretty quick, almost like Apsen wanted a reason to start shit if they didn’t agree with it. He didn’t know on the other hand guilt was eating at him over what he did with Yasmine over Christmas where he had snuck over and fucked her brains out repeatedly. “It’s just complicated that is all.” Rory finished and then looked over as he saw his father slowly walking and making his way over to where they were sitting in the booth. “Great first he and Jackson aren’t talking, he talked to Chauncey must be lucky me my turn.” Rory said hoping that this would be quick.
“Is their reason for Aspen to be worried?” Jamal asked looking at Rory as they watched Lowell hobble his way to them. He saw some man begin to help him make his way to them through the crowd. “Look, that’s your pops and you weren’t around for that shit. Whatever happened man it was fucked up but look at that man bro. He’s on his last leg and y’all wrong in my opinion for just icing him out. Now take that shit how you will. But my pops did some foul shit to my moms and my moms did some foul shit to pops. But I’m not picking a side bro because that’s your pops. I’m just saying y’all picked Jackie and your father is dying. Now that’s my opinion and I might be out of line because I’m not looking at the bigger picture. I’m looking at your dad needing assistance to get a few feet to us.” Jamal said standing up to let Lowell sit with them as he sat on the end if shit got ugly he could dip. “Either way your woman troubles will have to wait og Devonshire here.”
“Boys.” He said looking at Jamal and Rory. “You know you two are different from all the others. You two want to do it on your own. You don’t want to use your last names and want to make an impact in different ways. That’s very commendable. I just want to come over and tell you both how proud of you. Jamal your sells are doing amazing and Rory a hundred million on RePlay that’s quite a task. I hate to eavesdrop but Rory you’re having problems with the enchanting Aspen Sinclair? That girl has the gift of gab and she is a spitfire she almost reminds me of Audrey. While I must attest how you fought for Yasmine last year after you slept with your sisters mother made me think that was something special. So you are stuck on Yasmine but with Aspen? Have I hit it on the nail?”
Rory looked at Jamal shooting him a look he could stay if he wanted but this could get ugly it wasn’t like his dad had stooped to Skye levels with him and Yas. But she was Forbes’s daughter which he already knew was strike one and strike two she was a former stripper not someone his parents approved of. “RePlay did what it was supposed to save the company until the energy stuff was settled. That brings in way more avenues for us and I was happy to do it. Besides it let me tap the market and see what I really wanted to do more along the lines of my own thing when it came to tech and what not. Seeing how much you hated Yasmine when she was a stripper and seeing how she is Forbes’s daughter I would think you’d be happy if I just stuck it out with Aspen at this point. I doubt your courtesy extends to Forbes as much as it does Walter.” Rory said seeing that Jamal was staring between them he wasn’t going to go hard on his dad or anything he was still mad about Zerick but he also knew that his dad didn’t have a lot of time left.
“What advice could you possibly offer me? How to embarrass the woman you’ve committed your life to? How to hide a child from her and the rest of your children and live two different lives? How to screw over a good friend and business partner?” Rory asked him he was genuinely curious if this was his father’s weirdo apology tour when it came to his kids and his past deeds, he kinda hoped it was it would make his death a lot easier than it was going to be on all of them. He took another drink of the glass in front of him and then realized he was projecting the guilt he was feeling about everything with Yasmine and Aspen onto him that happened over Christmas. “So I’m taking my time to figure out what is going on with them both. Aspen is a nice girl dad good breeding not a Montgomery per say and it’s not like she took her clothes off on a pole. Yasmine is happy with that basketball dude she didn’t want me back even after I tried to woo her back. I’m just with the wedding coming up wondering if I’m ready you know to make a choice between them, ready to let fo of my past and move forward or not.” Rory finished as he looked at his father and he was kinda curious if Jamal was going to stay or go or not.
Lowell felt the crushing weight of his son’s judgement hit him as Rory almost looked confused that he could have an opinion on what he should do. He wasn’t good with changing Rory’s last girlfriend before Yasmine was a debutante. Yasmine was a spitfire and he honestly respected she wasn’t budging but seeing that look in his son eyes he knew. She’d broke down and now he was conflicted. “Believe me when I say I am appreciative of what RePlay has done for DGI and the future of the company. As for Forbes and I we will never play nice because I have done far too much to him and he to me. The lines that were crossed weren’t just with the words but he has tried to do so much. So if I had it my way then Aspen would be who you picked. However I do know the heart wants what the heart wants. As for what I could offer you is simple a lesson on how to navigate two women. I did keep a child hidden from my children but never my wife. She knew about Bliss and stayed so I obviously know how to do something because when you cheated Yasmine left you.” Lowell said looking at his son. “I enjoyed having Tess and Jackie. I can’t lie and what I liked ever more is when I had Tess, Audrey, and Jackie. I need you to know that I also lost so much time with you and my life when you split your soul like that.”
Lowell looked at Jamal who looked perplexed at what he was offering them. “You boys have to trust each other more than anything in this world. DGI is making profit from both of you and I doubt you’ll stay on making more things happen when you can make something of your own. My first child to see that it’s amazing but I can say this. I was in the water and trenches with Jackie and Tess and eventually the water overtook me until I couldn’t swim anymore. I drowned and never came back up. I have never breathed again after l loved them both because I always was in two places. I warn you against it son but I guess I can say if you really love Yasmine or Aspen you’ll let that other woman free. I didn’t love Jackie or Tess enough to do that.”
Rory felt like the only real friend he had to trust was Jamal it wasn’t like he was close with other guys his age and while Brooke and he were friends, Jamal had been his friend for years. Even when they were semi at odds with Yasmine and he thought Jamal was trying to steal her he was still his best friend. Not to mention he covered for Ivan’s ass to cover for the record label and RePlay and he felt like that cemented them more. He listened to his father speak about his mother and Tess along with Audrey Malatov and he couldn’t help but wonder if he was going down the same path and if it would end the same way for them. He was torn between two women he didn’t want to hurt Aspen or Yasmine, but he wasn’t just going to stop seeing Aspen while Yasmine refused to be with him either. He got that he fucked up with Tess but it seemed like she still wanted to be with Khalil too. He looked at his father not sure what he was supposed to say to him when he opened his mouth, he didn’t want to be like him hurting both Yasmine and Aspen like his father had with his mom and Tess.
“So you can simply just welcome Walter’s daughter but you can’t do the same for Forbes’s?” Rory said part of him was angry about it, it wasn’t like his father had ever set them all down to tell them what happened back then with him and Walter or how it happened. Yet his father could overlook whatever happened when it came to Dani even though he had tried to break his brother and Dani up. Not only that but his father acted like it was the most normal thing in the world that he had done to Jackson or that his brother shouldn’t be angry about it. “You brought Tess to the dinner and didn’t even think about how any of us felt about it. You keep saying you want to change yet you had the audacity to do mom dirty like that at Jackson’s rehearsal dinner.” He finished not even sure what else he was supposed to say to his father.
“I think I need to get some air Rory. I don’t think that I should have to validate myself to my children. If your mother and I are divorcing then it shouldn’t be a problem who I bring. I suggest you and l not talk about Tess considering you bedded her and I forgave that. You should be all able to get over what I did. Especially considering Jackie seems to like to tango with Julian O’Sullivan. I’m not harping on her and what she is doing but you all want me to play perfect daddy. I’m not that and I never have been. Now either you all will come to terms with that or I’ll die without us coming to a peaceful conclusion about what we all know you can’t fix. You can’t fix it, Jackson, Chauncey, Rory, Bliss, Belle, Zerick and every other person who has my name in their lips. None of you can save your mother from what she is going through. Nor do I think you should because what is between Jackie and I is our situation. I have learned to put my emotions down for the betterment of my relationship with my children. I have been ostracized by everyone I love and pushed out of a company I built. So don’t tell me about audacity, you know nothing about the sacrifices I’ve made to let you be able to make RePlay or live the life you want. To do what you want to do and fail or succeed but you have a legacy behind your name if you fail. So don’t tell me I’m wrong it’s wrong for you all to pick fucking sides.” Lowell waved his hand at Jamal to move out of his way.
Jamal stood and looked at Rory’s shocked expression at his father’s outburst as he looked at his best friend hurt. He wanted to deck Lowell but he couldn’t the old motherfucker was dying. Gulping his drink down he moved out of his way.
“When I am dead and you all miss me. You all wonder if what you did to me on my last damn days was right. You wonder about all of your moral high ground then. You slept with a stripper who also was your brother’s dealer and you screwed Tess. Jackson was high all last year behind our back. Max slept with Philip and shot him or was it Hunter? Bliss has lied from the moment she arrived in Atlas Falls did she tell us she had a child and was married to a psycho prince? Don’t even fucking get me started on what Chauncey did last year. But I love you all. My love is unconditional but your love has conditions. That’s what it means to be a parent your kids could hate you and you still pine for them! Long to just get hug or a friendly fucking conversation without all of your judgements. You can all hate me but you all will respect me!” Lowell screamed, slamming his hand on the table as his helper came to him. Lowell looked back at Rory and walked away.
Jamal looked at his best friend and felt his heart swelling for him. “You alright man?” He touched Rory’s shoulder knowing he was hurt at how Lowell just talked to him.
“I’m good let’s just enjoy the party.” Rory said appreciating his concern but knowing he wasn’t sure that Jamal could really help him. This really was something that he had to work through with his father it wasn’t that he hated him. He actually hated himself because he was turning to be just like him and that feared him. He never wanted to be that guy but he was becoming him bit by bit, picking up his drink he turned his attention to the ladies on the poles with Jamal by his side watching his father walk to away.
Walter sipped his bourbon as he watched the men in the club this was not where he would have picked a bachelor party as mayor, but he was willing to come to please his daughter. What Jon had said the other day had got to him not everyone needed to know all of their business when it came to their family life so when he and the rest of the men had been invited to the party he had reluctantly agreed. He saw his niece enjoying the show more so than the men, maybe a little too much and he would never understand her or Zach’s sexuality but knew that the world was changing and it was different than when he was younger. He was waiting on Braden to arrive with the plate the last ones to get married were Helen and Brandon and they didn’t have it so he had sent his son on a hunt to find it from Lauren. Helen had mentioned that she had given it back to Lauren for safekeeping after Dani got engaged to Lex and he paused at that. A dream he had since let go of the last year, she had children with Jackson and was happy with him, when he saw him approaching he nodded his head at his soon to be son in law.
“I would assume that tonight you aren’t going to take of these fine ladies into the back? I’d hate to actually have a reason to dislike you at this point.” Walter said they were not good teasers him especially but he did want to welcome his new son in law and make him feel more included. Seeing the look on his face though he felt he had done the opposite not to mention it was refreshing to see Jackson only focused on his daughter and not the women draped around the room, she had enough insecurities thanks to him and Lex she didn’t need to think about that too. “You’ll find I’m terrible at small talk and jokes I think your father may of ruined that in me. Despite my reservations about all of this and what happened last year with Kendrick and the police station I am willing to admit I was wrong. I should have not reacted the way I did, I was angry and scared for my daughters life and I needed someone to blame. For that I am sorry.”
Jackson smiled at Walter and looked at the man feeling glad he had proven to Walter he’d take care of Dani. As he nodded at the apology he knew that. “It’s cool Mr. Frasier I knew that you weren’t exactly the type of person to joke. However from what my father says you’re pretty funny and a good guy. I’m sorry about what he did to your family. I never understood what the Devonshire’s did but I appreciate you giving your daughter to me. I would give my last breath to make Dani happy and I know you two don’t have the best relationship but I want you to know she’s safe. She’s so protected and loved. My reputation precedes me and I feel like we’ve been on the opposite side of things for a long time. But one thing we do respect and honor is our love for that woman. I don’t think you know how much she means to me and I appreciate your acceptance and rekindling of your friendship with my father.” He said honestly because he hated his dad had absolutely no one from his past in his corner.
“As for that day I deserved it. I was a fuck up. Dani knows that and I know that I will never purposely put your daughter in danger and will always protect her. She’s my world and your grandchildren man they are so amazing. I see so much of all of you in them. Jolene or JJ as we call her man she is tough and I think she gets that from you. Donovan is already manipulative because when he sees Dani feeding JJ man he starts crying for more milk. It’s crazy but I see dad in him and his uncle Chauncey.” He laughed as he looked at Walter. “This is awkward because it’s going so good right?” Jackson ran his hands through his hair. “You have my word Dani is safe and loved.”
Walter eyed him as he began to apologize about what his father had done all those years ago. He and Lowell were slowly working their way towards mutual ground and he supposed he actually had Dani and Jackson as the ones to actually take that step to make that happen with them. “If you ask certain people I’ve grown hard over the years and can sometimes be unlikeable, but I do try and do what is best for my family. Your father likely understands that more than he lets on. Dani makes her own choices she didn’t really give myself or her mother an option when it came to you and I don’t mean that in a negative way. She’s always been stubborn and had a fire in her, has been since the moment she was born and over the years that trait hasn’t disappeared. I didn’t exactly embrace that in her, you do.” He paused wondering how much Jackson actually knew about his tempestuous relationship with his daughter probably all of it, he did resent Dani for years he had come to terms with that now that he knew about Kendall.
“The moment I knew Lauren and I had no say was when she came to family dinner night alone without you there looked me dead in the eyes and walked out for you, I’d never seen her like that before over a man ever. She was willing to turn her back on her entire family for you. That pained me in a way her stubbornness never had before she’d always played with that fire before but she fully embraced it for you. The fire in her eyes daring me to question who she was when it came to you was unnerving to say the least.” Walter said taking another sip of his bourbon and looking at the bottle before looking at the bartender to give him another glass. He did so pouring it for Jackson and sliding it over to him. He swirled the liquid for a moment Dani would have given up her entire identity as a Fraiser for the man next to him and her unborn children, luckily for them she didn’t have to make that choice. “It’s a little awkward but I don’t think it has to be I’m honestly trying to mend fences with her and you. It’s why I’ve been respectful about the wedding and I thank you both for allowing me to bring Brenda. I want to watch you two get it right and better than Lauren and I did for my grandchildren. I wasn’t always the best husband or father to her growing up and I know she carries that more then she lets on to a lot of people.”
“I’ve heard about it. I just want to say my father and I don’t have the luxury of time to fix our issues but you and Dani do. Dani fears betrayal and that is something you don’t have to worry about. My love for your daughter is limitless. Not only that but I’d be afraid to hurt her. That girl is dangerous when angry.” He chuckled, swirling the bourbon in his glass as he put it to his lips and took a sip. “I think my father’s clearly stated when he saw I wasn’t joking about Dani. It was when I didn’t take the drugs from Skye and didn’t fall for her seduction. Oddly enough before he knew he was dying he was interested in his kids life. Pardon me we should be enjoying ourselves. I’m just saying I had that moment with father also because he assumed he could change what I felt or what was happening. None of you could, she is my soulmate and I’m complete when I’m with her. I feel like I can breathe and sometimes when she is gone for too long it’s like the air is leaving my body. I depend on her and I know she depends on me. I want to say that if I’m ever at DGI as CEO your invention and your ideas will be recognized. Your contribution to my life isn’t ignored.” Jackson said sternly as he looked at Walter in his eyes. “Unlike some of the other Devonshire’s what I say I mean.”
Jackson looked at Walter and had to ask. “About Brenda, you seem to think she’s your soulmate and by my estimate I assume that you treated your wife pretty badly. Why do you believe after all this time she is right for you? You’ve been burned by her constantly Walter and I just can’t understand and maybe your reasoning can make me understand my father and Tess. Brenda isn’t as bad as Tess but both are treacherous and have hurt you both constantly. I mean both of them hid kids from you and yet you both stand with them. What type of voodoo is that because no love in the world could make me forgive Dani if she hid a kid from me. That’s not real love that’s horrible and I’m sorry if I’m overstepping but you are my father-in-law and honestly you trigger my wife. So I’m asking for her sanity. What’s next? Can you somehow mend this because Dani deserves better and the best in a husband and father.”
Walter looked at him and did let out a small smile his daughter was not the type of woman that would likely put up with Jackson stepping out of line or all over her. Not to mention she had a temper to go with it on top of it. “You can thank Lauren for that she was a far better example to Dani than I was. I think part of the reason she originally came home and one of the reasons you met her here at this very club not exactly her taste or scene can be attributed to the fact she doesn’t put up with men treating her like a doormat. She saw unfortunately far too much of that with how her mother and I were. You proved me very wrong in how you have treated Dani and I would like to think that will continue after tomorrow. As for DGI honestly seeing Dani working there is plenty of recognition for me, her continuing on our family legacy in that way. It took me a while to accept it but seeing her in my old office brings back good memories.” Walter said looking at him and taking another drink hoping that Braden was going to show up with the plate. It would be a shame if the plate was lost as it had been in the family for at least over a hundred years or more. “I’m not sure it is a story that you would want to hear. But maybe it is time.”
“I wasn’t always this man Jackson I at one point really did think that Lauren and I could work out our problems. She was intriguing and stunning back in the day, Brenda was engaged to Steven Kincaid at the time so I took a chance on Lauren. One thing led to another and you obviously know how children are made, I thought I was doing the right thing by marrying her when she was pregnant with Braden. I was on top of the world with DGI and your dad I thought I had it all.” Walter said looking at him it was a truth that he wasn’t proud of but he had married Lauren out of obligation not of love and it forever changed their entire marriage and relationship. Shaped who he was a father towards Braden and then worse how he was with Dani when she was younger. “I thought nothing would come between me and your father, Brenda was having problems Lauren suffered from post partum depression after Braden was born, partially my fault. We had an affair and I realized I made a very poor choice in marrying Lauren because she was pregnant, times were different my entire family would have shunned me. I was ready to divorce Lauren of course to provide for Braden when your father ousted me at DGI.” Walter said he could attribute a lot of his fate and affair with Brenda to that night how it left him in a loveless marriage financially. “I would have never been able to divorce Lauren and provide for her without selling the family distillery, it was the only thing we had left back then and that would have killed my parents so I stayed.”
“We stayed together for Braden Pierre LeClerq went to jail and we talked divorce again I was sleeping with Brenda. Lauren knew I didn’t want more children with her. Abortion wasn’t an option. I asked her too you know she refused so we had Dani. I’m not proud of it now, but at the time I resented her.” Walter said and he felt Jackson glare at him and he took a drink, he had wanted to know how it happened he was willing to tell him the truth. “We tried for years and Victoria was born I never knew about my daughter with Brenda or your father helping her leave to give her up. Losing Vicky in the lake that night while Dani lived broke us as family, Lauren and I never recovered. So the answer you are looking for is that I was a selfish asshole that treated the woman I told that I would love and honor like shit because I could because I was in love with another woman when we learned she was pregnant. I destroyed her in the process when I should have been a man and divorced her for both our sakes and our children.”
Jackson nodded and took his drink to the head gulping it all down. He didn’t think he could ever resent his very own child. That was something he would never understand but Walter was opening up and who was Jackson to silence him. As he listened to Walter call himself a selfish jerk he felt satisfied that he was telling the truth. He was an asshole and he was selfish and he deserved to be miserable. How could you do that to your very own daughter? That devastated him because Jolene would never feel that. Not JJ if he had his way his daughter would feel loved gay, straight, trans, or whatever she was. That went double for Donovan. “I think you should try to fix this. Dani has always felt like it was her fault your marriage fell apart. Give her that peace because she’s never heard that from you that way. To me old-timer, you screwed up because Lauren is stunning and I absolutely love her personality. You know the one that isn’t a power hungry succubus but I digress your relationship. Either way my wife has felt lesser because of you and I’m asking you to either fix that or stop that. What we want is DGI and as a team we are getting it.” Jackson said strongly as he looked at Walter.
“Nothing will take our eye off the prize and if that means removing you for her sanity and to protect the mother of my children I will. I will cut you out of the twins life and my own. I won’t have a father and I think you are Chauncey’s Godfather and more than likely would have been mine in an alternative universe. So I hope we can come to you, the brain behind DGI the original start up. I hope I can look to you for advice when Donovan needs something or JJ isn’t talking to me because I’ve scared off a boy. I guess I want the Devonshire’s and Fraisers’ to really be a family and if you allow it I want you to be my father and truly get to know the woman you raised. If you do Walter I assure you Dani will surprise and amaze you every day. I don’t know what happened to Victoria. It’s always been an urban legend around the city but I know this. Dani and Braden are here and they deserve you to be on top of your game. Brenda and your kid is dead and Victoria is also but they are here. They need you both to be the best especially Dani because one day she’ll be by my side running DGI. Meaning we’ll need you.” Jackson looked at Zach, Braden, Kelsey, and Brock all approaching him. “Please tell me Jamal didn’t do something wrong. That boy keeps telling everyone he’s the new me tonight.”
“Nothing more salacious than Kelsey.” Zach sneered smirking mischievously at his prudish lesbian sister actually did a threesome. Not only a threesome but a threesome with baby arm Delacroix apparently. He instantly regretted it because Kelsey hand slapped the back of his head and everyone looked at him confused. Nobody could figure out what he was talking about. She was so uptight it was a good burn.“No, we are here to sing you a traditional Irish tune. Come in lass and boyo we have show him how us Fraisers’ do.” Zach took a swig of his beer. “I’m kidding no this party is jumping they went all out for the last night of Jackson Devonshire being a bachelor which is respectable because you were a notorious cad.”
“Was being the operative word Zach. Your cousin made me a man who doesn’t sin unless it’s in the bedroom then I’m the devil.” He saw Kelsey mortified expression and Zach burst out laughing. Braden seemed to turn red and Walter put his head down in shame. Brock was laughing with Zach and all he could do was join in the laughter. “Come on Walter the twins didn’t come from nowhere.”
Braden had side stepped a ton of strippers on his way in the door with the plate the most asinine thing he had ever heard of and better yet why didn’t he and Selina get it? He knew why because their wedding was literally last minute and when he came up on the group and heard Jackson he about dropped the damn thing. The last thing that he wanted to know about was his sister’s sex life and he tried to block that out seeing his father do the same, whatever floated people’s boat in his opinion. “Mom was nearly late trying to find this damn thing. Had to go all the way to the attic to find it, like she should have pulled it out the moment you popped the question to my sister. I don’t think anything would stop her from marrying you.” He said handing it to his father and smiling at Jackson.
Walter took the plate from his son tried to not think about what the devil meant in Jackson’s statement. He looked at his niece and nephews, as Brock approached them it was a silly and stupid tradtion. He could tell Jackson was relaxing a little more around them all which was good, and he did consider what Jackson had said about Dani. He took the plate out the colors slightly faded but it was still there, still in one piece he and Lauren hadn’t even had it at their wedding. “Maybe if Lauren and I had this it would have brought us luck. Now I’m going hand it off to you, it’s a family heirloom my grandfather’s father gave it to his wife. They had six children, it’s been passed down from generation to generation mostly. Helen and my brother had it last they did alright with these knuckleheads.” Walter said looking at Jackson as he handed him the plate. “I would advise putting it up on a shelf before becoming the devil, don’t break it. We may need it back down the line.”
Looking at the plate no doubt from Ireland. It was beautifully crafted and he knew he was holding a piece of their family’s history.“I appreciate it.” He said looking at them all. “I never thought in a million years I’d feel like you guys were my family. Over the last two years it’s been a world wind but I can say I gained brothers, cousins, new moms, and another father. This family showed me what my family was missing. Not to say your perfect but to me the love and the way you all ride for each other. It’s unmatched and I am honored to be as much a Fraiser man as I am a Devonshire man. This isn’t just her taking my name it’s me taking her family on right along with her taking mine. We are a unit now and I want the Fraisers and the Devonshire’s to rule over this city and DGI. Cheers to a new family.”
Walter had moved on from the rest of his family as he spotted the others breaking into smaller groups he had stayed back while Chauncey and Rory had spoken to Lowell that was not his place. He had waited till Lowell was alone before he approached him at the booth for a moment together he was not supposed to be here tonight. But Chauncey had apparently other plans that included inviting him to a party that Jackson didn’t want him at. He couldn’t blame Jackson based on what happened with Skye and yet he partly admired Lowell for the coldness and callousness, he had thought about it himself only bringing Lex back into the picture. Though he wouldn’t have had to pay for it, walking to the booth he took a seat across from him and raised the glass to his lips taking a drink. Despite his best efforts to sway Dani and Lowell’s to sway his own son their children had decided they were destined and they had the twins out of it now, there was no magic time turner to change that back.
“It is not wise for you to be here Lowell it was not part of our arrangement. It is best for everyone right now if you keep your distance at least until I have what we need back. It looks better for you to sit back and sulk with Tess to keep up appearances, flaunt her about town instead of weakly showing up here.” Walter said looking at him seeing him clutch his cane and he had to wonder why he showed up. It would be better for him to have stayed home with Tess opposed to show up at the rehearsal and tonight at the bachelor party it only set tensions off more. “So this entire business with Skye what exactly was your plan? I’m quite curious you had the balls to do it I considered doing the same thing myself and will advise you Dani would have never forgiven me for it, and from the looks of it Jackson isn’t going to anytime soon with you.” He finished taking another sip of his whiskey as he did so.
“I only have a few more months a year tops he’ll get over it.” Lowell said curtly. “I couldn’t sit at that mansion and listen to Tess talk about a damn decoration or a dress she had shipped from this place. She’s a brilliant mind but I also don’t think that I was meant to be a stay at home husband. Nor was I meant to miss my son’s bachelors party even though he hates me. I was going to have Skye rip out Dani’s heart after seducing my son with drugs and her body. She’s a cheap get considering she was broke at the time. But she came into town and failed which surprised me because it showed Jackson actually cared about your daughter. Which made me feel like she must be special to him. Now I can’t lie and say I didn’t hate it Walter at first but Dani’s changed my son and I think he’s going to eventually run DGI. Mark my words Jackson will make you eat every thought of fear you had with him. I assure you that boy is marked for greatness and what’s sad is I won’t see it. I won’t see what I always knew he was the best of me and Jackie. Chauncey is me all over again. Max is a female me. Bliss is soft and so is Rory. Belle is unexpected and I don’t know what to quite make of my latest child but she’s scrappy. I only have so much time Walter to imprint my mind with memories and even though this one will hurt it’s a memory.”
Lowell exhaled as he wiped his eyes. “When I was little my father was quite the man. Hulking in size and stature he had Chauncey’s height. He wasn’t a nice man Walter, he was abusive. He would beat mother day in and day out. When I got bigger it was my turn and I believed I was protecting my brother and sister. One day I came home and found father beating Linus and I attacked but mother stopped me. She said that I had to protect Camilla and Linus. She made me promise Walter and I saw her sacrifice so much of herself in body and mind. I knew I had to make something of myself. I stole your idea and concepts to do it but I wasn’t going to be poor and my mother’s sacrifices weren’t going to be for nothing. My mother actually is very religious so she thinks she’s going to hell for killing my father.” Walter was one of the few people who knew the truth from years ago. “I think she should get all the gold in the world. She’s coming to the wedding. The twins were her favorite and ironically she has to meet her great-grandchildren which are twins. I guess what I am saying is this will break her heart. She’ll see Linus for the rapist he is and Zerick. My God that boy has been yanked around like a tool and a pawn for years. I just hate to do it one last time to him for my kids to see. As for Tess I ignored the conversation with Chauncey but you will and should understand. You had a mistress for years but Walter I can’t do that to Jackie. Honestly she doesn’t deserve to change my shitty diapers even though she’d hire someone to do it. That’s not to point. She doesn’t deserve to watch me wither away and die and although I’ll hurt them now. It’ll hurt a lot less later.”
Walter looked at him and still thought he was being a mad man with how he was acting but he had promised him that he would help him. He didn’t think it was the best way that he was handling thing when it came to his kids, but he wasn’t one to judge him. He listened to him talk about the entire thing with Skye and nodded his head at him had he really done the best he could with Dani? Probably not looking back and if his conversation with Jacskon earlier was any indication, he honestly at this point was beginning to doubt how he had initially reacted Jackson threatened him and he felt it, just like he had seen Lowell do over the years. Not just with DGI but more importantly to him with his daughter, just the tone and the way they had talked installed a fear in him Jackson would do anything to ensure anything for his little girl. “I honestly don’t think he is going to get over it. You went after his sobriety Lowell with my daughter on top of it. I wasn’t thrilled either you saw my reaction at the fundraiser. But maybe if I hadn’t of made so many mistakes with Dani on and off over her life she wouldn’t have felt the need or have been pulled so much to your son. Lauren even warned me about it and she didn’t give me a choice in it, looking back I’m glad,. We wouldn’t have gotten JJ or Donovan out of it. I was a shitty father to her I at least can admit that.” He said looking at Lowell and he did mean that he wanted Lowell and Jackson to fix it while they still could before his friend had no time left.
He was old enough to remember how Lowell’s father had died when they were closer they had commiserate over shitty fathers. His was a drunk there was no secret in that and had drunk himself in an early grave after Victoria was born, Lowell’s father was another beast in that regard. Family was a big thing to him and the Fraiser’s so he got it but on the other hand he would have never done what Lowell was. “I think you are making a mistake hiding all this but that is your choice to make. Your kids have a right to know what happened Jackie has a right to know what you told me and Tony the other night. It’s killing them and you to not know.”
Walking into DGI he saw a few eyebrows raised at him as he made his way to the executive offices and waved off his daughter’s secretary as he saw the office was open and Dani was on some call. He saw her roll her eyes at him but motioned him in and instead looked out over the skyline and the photo on her desk of her, the twins and Jackson after they were born they looked happy. He had to smile at bit at the file folder on her desk and his raised his eyes for a moment something about some wind turbines and a survey report and he saw her rip the file away and he looked at the wedding seating chart on her desk forgot in the mountains of business paperwork, only his daughter could care less about a seating chart so close to her wedding. He saw her end the call and saw her reach for the seating chart and noticed his seat next to him was empty.
“Your mother tells me your dress is quite stunning and I am looking forward to seeing you in it tomorrow. I know I haven’t been the best for you but I am glad you are letting me walk you down the isle even if it is to a Devonshire.” Walter said seeing her eyebrow raise a bit and he chuckled still so feisty even now. “I’m not going to fight with him if that is what you are wondering I was actually invited to his bachelor party imagine that, we’re making progress. Besides the twins are too adorable and they need both their parents.”
Dani looked at her father he rarely came to visit and when it did it was likely because he wanted something she had tried to focus on the call with Grant Johnson in Montana a feeler that had opened up something she was excited about. Honestly wind power was just as good as solar and they had so many presales on the solar panels that when Jackson told her to go for it she just did. Ok it had been his idea too and they had even scooped out the land they could put them on to then sell the power back to the power company, but the call ended well and she saw her father look at the photo on the desk, the file and then the wedding chart. She already knew what he was going to ask her and she and Jackson had talked about it. Jackson left the choice up to her if he could bring Brenda or not but she wanted him to ask for it. Her mother was bringing Randall and it seemed fair to let her father bring Brenda not to mention her mom had said it was alright too.
“I would tell you but I don’t trust you to not tell Jackson so you’ll have to wait just like everyone else for my grand entrance tomorrow when you walk me down the isle. I could always change my mind you know have uncle Brandon do it or even Braden do it. Lucky for you it’s a big deal and what not.” Dani said seeing her father’s face frown a bit and then smile it then became awkward in the silence of her office. “So say what you came to say or ask.”
“I would like it if you would let me bring Brenda as my date to the wedding, she would sit with me at the table. At the ceremony I would sit by your aunt and uncle. Your mother is bringing Randall and with how you and your brother feel about everything with Brenda that did happen I thought that was the agreement that we could come too. I want to be there for you and I’d like to think we are all still moving on. I don’t ever expect you to feel anything for Brenda Dani, but your mother and I divorced for the better you know that.” Walter said seeing his daughter considering her options weighing them like it was on a scale. He could tell she was leaning on the no side and decided to sweeten the deal. “I’ll even reach out to Jackson tonight I know this entire thing with Lowell has to be hard on him and you with the twins. Let me show you I’m trying to fix this with us.”
Dani looked at her father and considered his words and she honestly didn’t know how she felt about them, he despite everything was still her father. That was something that she couldn’t ignore and she played with the pen in her hands picking it up and opening the cap. She went ahead and filled in Brenda Kincaid’s name on the seating chart. Trying to not shake as she did so, she’d give him an inch and see what happened. “There see was that so hard? Why does it always have to be this way with you? Like I don’t know I still walk on eggshells. Don’t make me regret this okay?”
Walter leaned down kissing her forehead before leaning up knowing he had one other stop to make as he started to walk out the door hearing her questions he turned. “It’s getting better, you’re bid its too high on the output to the powerplant calculate it at five percent not seven. If you wanted to get really creative just buy five lots next to the distillery and put the turbines there. The Thorpe’s are never going to give you that land and we both know it. Thank you have fun tonight.” He finished walking out and down the hallway he saw Zerick’s office was open and took a chance to slip inside seeing the open overpriced sparkling water bottle on the desk he took out a plastic bag from his jacket and a tissue being careful to drop it into the bag and sealing it with a grin before heading back out to the elevator.
“I have what you asked and it’s been delivered as we speak but you have to tell them. I had an excuse to be at DGI but I won’t have that excuse all the time. Luckily for you Dani didn’t see me round a corner and go where you asked me too. Why won’t you just tell them about your father about what you promised stop all this pain Lowell? Is your pride too much for that abusive asshole that beat your mother?” Walter said looking at his friend when he spoke he felt him for his issues with his father but punishing his children and Jackie wasn’t fair to any of them. He didn’t know what to offer Lowell when it came to advice about Tess he had his own affair with Brenda that had birthed him a daughter, but she was dead so he had no other ties to that part of his life with her. He also knew that Lowell had been part of that hurt and he wanted to hate him for it, but knew Lowell was dying he was going to meet his maker one way or another and would have to atone for everything he had ever done. “I won’t beat you over the head about Tess but you could have simply asked to bring her to the dinner Lowell. They’re upset about the embarrassment you have caused Jackie surely you can see that I can tell you that it gets better. Dani and Braden are both talking to me again, we’re making progress but I also didn’t go around and flaunt Brenda in their face.”
“I can’t tell them without proof. I’ve been spewing hot air right now and if I explain everything to them with nothing to back me up. I need proof Walter and when I explain it they’ll know. I assure you of that Walter and I’ll stop some pain but I have no plans on stopping this divorce.” Lowell said adamantly as he looked at his friend. “Walter I have said it so much I’m sick of saying it. I know that Jackie deserves better and if that’s not with me. The truth about it is I’ve accepted the garbage they’ve done and they refuse to even see me for more than an altered DNA test. I’m tired of arguing and I’m sick of playing the good guy. Understand me when I say this Walter I’m going to get my last laugh on Forbes and anyone who has betrayed me.”
The balcony outside of the club to watch everyone enter. It was genius it seemed everyone was having a ball besides him. He couldn’t get his caviler his father’s words were. How he just tried to act like insinuating that he was going to be CEO was enough for his forgiveness. Before he knew it tears began to form in his eyes and closed his eyes and could remember his father yelling at him for destroying a Ming Dynasty vase. How he cut himself trying to put it together and Lowell just threw it in the trash. How as he got older he was never good enough for his father. How he never could measure up to Chauncey and how he set the bar so high that he’d never be able to compete. Then Max became another pupil and before he knew it Rory was born and he was damaged goods. Just the failure and that’s how he treated him for years. So he behaved as such. It was constant drugs, women, and liquor. The self degradation he did to himself just to show his father. Just to prove he was just as bad as he thought I was. It was a constant cycle of self loathing and self destruction that led him to four trips to rehab. Shaking his head he heard the door open and saw his father stumbling inside. He watched him for a moment and saw him almost fall on the couch. His instincts kicked in and he wanted to run his dad but he just watched.
Stepping off the balcony he saw Lowell with another drink in hand. “Are you sure that’s a good idea. I’m sure your medications say no alcohol.” He said walking out as he sat on the couch in the office. The look his father gave him said it all and he wasn’t going to fight him anymore than he had to. “We need to talk because I can’t have you at my wedding until I get this off of my chest. I guess what I want to say is I never was scared of the dark or some monster underneath my bed. Do you know why? I had the monster just down the hall who would treat me as if I wasn’t a human or his son. I would watch him dote on my older brother and my little sister. For years I wondered how I could just feel a little of that type of love and attention. For you to see that I wasn’t horrible or unworthy of your love.” Jackson stopped as he exhaled trying to hold back tears. “You were the monster in every closet to me, and underneath every bed. You made me feel like I shouldn’t be alive at times dad.” He whispered as he wiped his eyes.
Lowell sat and listened to his son and his eyes began to blur with tears. “It was all I knew how to do Jackson. I didn’t know how to raise children and I had no male role models because your grandfather wasn’t a good man. He put me and Linus against each other and held your aunt Camilla to the highest of standards. Does that sound familiar? I failed you because you weren’t like me. I thought my children were supposed to be spitting images of me. To be my vanity on earth again. My greatest legacy is you all and I can’t figure out how I did the same damn thing to you that my father did to Linus and I. I tortured you because you were sensitive Jackson. You weren’t tough like Max or Chauncey but you were smart and artistic. I should have figured a way to nurture you instead I thought maybe if I made you and Chauncey fight he’d toughen you up. You’d be stronger.” Lowell gulped as he looked at his son facing years of abuse head on. He might have not hit Jackson but he abused his son and he knew that.
“Tell me what do I need to do. Tell me what do I need to say to fix all the things I have done. I can’t die knowing that you don’t forgive me. You don’t understand how much it hurts to be me. Everyday I feel like my bones are breaking as I walk. I think it’s God’s punishment for all the things I’ve done. I just want to fix this Jackson and I know I don’t deserve any of your forgiveness but I am begging just let me be.” Lowell exhaled trying to touch his son and when Jackson moved away he nodded. “Just let me be a part of my grandchildren’s life, let me be forgiven before I die. Please Jackson.”
“You are so manipulative.” Jackson said, shaking his head. “After all these years you want to fix our relationship? You have made me feel like I am the lowest of the low. Like I didn’t belong for years. You play with my sobriety as if it’s a game and then you try to rip the love of my life out of my hands. I’m just supposed to forget that? No I can’t father because you are by far the worst of me. Every indulgent behavior I had was my fault but you played a big part in that. You’ve triggered me so many times. Your slick words, your false concern, and now because I am getting my life together and everything is falling in place you think you will be forgiven. I want to tell you if you give me CEO or not I will never forgive you. I will never forget that you hurt my mother, that you treated me like gum on your shoe, hell how you manipulated me and my brother to hate each other. I can’t just erase all that and I won’t choose to because your body is dying. Your heart isn’t and you are ice cold. You have showed me how not to be a father and a husband. I used to want to be you and emulate everything you did but I see now. I can see now that you are nothing to look up to. You are a fragile man and I don’t mean your body your spirit is fragile and you are broken. But I give it back. I give back all the unworthy feelings you gave to me. I give back all the pain and uncertainties you bestowed on my life. I give it all back to you.” Jackson said looking at his father as he wiped his eyes.
“Why did you treat me like I wasn’t good enough? Did you not love me? Did you not care about what I needed and wanted from you? I’m just as much your son as any of them and you have always shown me this unwillingness to love me. To try to understand me and give me the same amount of love and affection you did to everyone else. You have made me not even a priority and now you want my forgiveness. You want me not to cut you out of my children life when you fucking cut me out of yours. I was never as important as Chauncey or any of your children. Now I can see Bliss and Belle saying fuck you Jackson we got scraps but they were loved. I never felt love from you.”
Lowell sat as his lips quivered lowering his head listening to his son say he never felt like his loved him was like being shot in the heart. “Jackson. I love you.” He said trying to not cry. “I have messed up but to think you don’t know I love you is the biggest crime. I can sit and explain that my father did the very same thing to me and Linus as I did to you and Chauncey. I can tell you I am sorry to I’m blue in the face but I need you to understand something. I love you so much. You are my heart and my soul all of you are. From Jackie to Belle you are my children and legacy I give to this earth. I leave a footprint in the sand as long as you breathe the air on this earth. I have truly dug myself in a grave and every day Jackson I try to dig out. I know you all don’t like what I’m doing to Jackie but that’s my wife. Your mother but my wife and when you marry Dani you’ll understand what I am saying. Son I’ve hurt her so much that I can’t bear to do it any longer. But you I can handle all the hate, and all the pain if you let me. Let me in and I’ll fix it because unlike Chauncey, Max and Rory you didn’t get my best. You didn’t get me as your superhero. I should have been your superhero Jackson but damnit I’m here now. I’m trying now and if you give me that damn shot you’ll see I’m not the monster that everyone wants me to be. That I’m just human as anyone else. I have built up in my head that I was some God. That I was immortal but humanity could never be immortal. Every day I get weaker and every moment I wonder what I have done wrong. I sit with the should have, if I would have and I could have done so much better. But I failed and I know that but if you let me I can try to fix this with whatever time we have left.”
“Time. I have all the years in the world to do better and I just can’t forget what you put me through. There was always going to be a winner and loser but I don’t think you expect this. You lost me dad. The moment you made the choice to sick Skye on me. The moment you undermined my relationship with Dani. It was over. We have nothing left dad because you’re already dead to me. Come to the wedding and see the twins for the last time. I won’t be at your hospital room when you are dying, I won’t attend your funeral, and I won’t shed one tear. You see you taught us all when an enemy attacks first you sit back and wait for the opportune time to strike back. I have waited my entire life to hear you beg the way you are. I knew I was somebody it just took awhile to figure out who. So if this is your grand speech for forgiveness, then it didn’t work. I want nothing to do with you and I don’t forgive you. In fact I would rather you not there but my mother said you should be with us. I heard you told Rory we picked sides and I want to inform you that you were right. I have picked a side and I know it’s the right one. You are not my father and you aren’t welcomed to my wedding but as I said. My mother shows you compassion but father you said these words to me so many times they lost meaning. They never hurt less though.”
Leaning into his father and bringing his face to his ear. “After this wedding I never want to see you again. You are dead to me. Do you hear me Lowell because for years I wasn’t good enough to be your son. Now I am? No Lowell it doesn’t work like that. You are a rapist, a womanizer, and have been the most traumatizing figure in my life. I want nothing to do with you anymore. After the wedding leave me alone. Leave my wife alone. Leave my children alone. I told you you’re the monster in my closet and I’m cleaning it out. I’m cleansing myself from the toxicity you placed inside of me. I’m done being your son.” Jackson lips quivered as the tears began to fall down his face.
Lowell lowered his head as the shame and the pain of his son’s words cut him more than any attack on DGI had ever. He looked at his boy and leaned forward and kissed his forehead. “I understand.” Lowell touched Jackson’s face and wiped his tears away. “You deserve this. You hear me? I have failed as a man and as a father to you. You deserve to be happy my son and if you can’t move forward because of what I did to you in our past because of my trauma. I understand. It kills me but I understand.” Lowell finished his drink as he used his cane to stand up. “Jackson I want you to know even though I hurt you. I only wanted the best for my children. I only wanted you all to have so much that I didn’t. I thought by giving you all the world that it was being the best father. I thought doing what my father did toughened me up and I thought it would do the same to you.”
“It didn’t work dad. You didn’t break me. I stand taller and I’m my own man now.” Jackson said, looking at his father as he wiped his tears away.
“It worked.” Lowell whispered. “It worked but it cost me you. I’m going home but I want you to know I love you son. I love you so much that even though you don’t want me or love me right now. I still love you, Jackson Andrew Devonshire.” Lowell began to hobble away and as he opened the door he turned and looked at his son. “I’ll be at that wedding.” Lowell closed the door behind him as his nurse stood there. “Please take me home.”
Jackson saw the door close and placed his hands to his face as he began to bawl crying. He had just kicked his father out of his life. He’d just washed his hands of him and he never felt so low in his life. Not even when he was on drugs this was a disgusting feeling. To know you just told your parent exactly how you felt. How he just explained to him every childhood pain and trauma came from him. How what they did to him still haunted him. Jackson chest was heaving and he heard his dad slowly walking with his cane away. “Dad.” He called out to him as he walked out of the room behind him. “I’m glad you came tonight.” Jackson knew he just released something that had been inside of him a long time. He needed to know if he was alright. What if his father died or something tonight because of what he said.
“Jackson you are transforming into the man I could never get myself together enough to be. You keep it up because son you are amazing even me. I never had the balls to confront my father. To deal with that it just wasn’t what I could do. You are facing this head on and although it’s killing me to hear you say these words to me. I need to hear them. I need to feel this Jackson so that I understand what I did to your spirit. I love you son and I’m sorry.” Tears fell down his face as he looked at his boy. “I need to go get some rest.”
“Yeah dad go ahead.” He watched the nurse helping him down the stairs and out of his eyesight. “I love you too dad.”
Dani looked around the pub for the first time in her entire life it was closed for a private party on a friday night and like the rehearsal dinner Jackie and her mother had spared no expense. There were streamers everywhere and her mother had put out the variety behind the bar and she as pretty sure as she picked up her glass and took a sip it was from the private reserve from her grandfather that they only broke out on special occasions but the taste of caramel, spice, cherry and oak was one of her favorites. There was some varieties of beer on tap too and for some reason the jukebox had been replaced with speakers and some fancy box that you could hook up to a phone. Tamara was having fun on the dance floor with her mother, Bliss and Max were laughing and she had picked up on it with Jackson that Bliss married Hunter in secret, good for her in her mind. She had been thinking about the Pub a lot the last few months really since Sebastian had asked about how it was made and it wasn’t like Braden had ever really taken an interest in the family business either. She saw Bliss sit down by her and poured her a glass smiling at her.
“You owe me a drink since you and Hunter decided to not tell anyone you guys were getting married let alone invite your brother and I to the event. So a toast then to you and Hunter for screwing all the formality of the big event which your brother and I almost did after the dinner, and getting your happy ever after.” She said seeing Bliss grimace at the taste, it was acquired and that was alright. There was something sexy about it to her drinking it analyzing it and she especially loved it over a glass with Jackson discussing DGI which often led to other things and she was looking forward to that routine for the rest of their lives. Learning together, growing together sipping a good whiskey or bourbon together, loving together and growing their family. “In all seriousness though I am so happy for you and Hunter you guys took the plunge and you had Fox there too. Jackson and I would have came to support you guys, I’m sad I missed it. Are you at least having fun when instead you should be away on your honeymoon.” Dani finished smiling at her and looking at the rest of the girls having fun too.
“Not until I have full custody and then Hunter, Fox and I are going to go somewhere tropical. Or maybe Brussels or somewhere in the south of France. I don’t know but once I am awarded full custody then I will be able to do much more fun stuff. I know how about this we get together a few of us. Max, me, you, Whitney I think she’s so much fun, um Miranda, and anyone else who wants to come and we bring our kids and men and have a ball. Rent some beautiful mansion out or go to Sebastian family vineyard. Max says they rent out the guesthouse. It’s so much I want Fox to see and explore.” She said with a smile on her face looking at her wedding ring and the cat being out of the bag wasn’t bad at all. Max was so happy for her and Hunter and she said they deserved each other and didn’t mean it in disgust. She meant it in love. “So are you going to be Mrs. Devonshire in a couple of hours and so what Jon made a fool of himself. What does that matter? He said some awful things and so what Dimtri deserves to die. Everyone knows it. I’m proud of you Dani. I swear if I could have him killed it be so much easier.” Bliss admitted freely to her friend.
“Anyway I think this party is amazing and it almost makes me jealous. I didn’t do a big wedding but it was perfect Dani. It was so many candles and everything was beautiful. It was so special and I just love him so much and can’t wait to make Hunter a father. I know he’s Fox’s father but I want him to share in every moment and I know he will. I know he will be so happy and I’m so happy that I’m with him. I love him and our family so much and I have a sister-in-law now in you. I have an amazing big sister now and this amazing new family in the Fraiser’s it’s two powerful clans coming together and all that old blood stuff. You two are ending a blood feud and your babies are like the new messiahs.” She teased playfully as she picked up the drink and sipped again. “It’s so strong? Do you have something that might not put hair on your chest?”
“A judge would have to be mad or insane to not give you and Hunter full custody of Fox after everything that has happened, he’s sitting in a hospital with twenty four hour police around him because someone there won’t release him. You want my opinion on it whoever shot at him should have aimed better. I know everyone was looking at me and Braden like we were mad for asking Jon to do what we did.” Dani said looking at Bliss knowing that she was being honest with her about Dimitri and she took another drink slowly from the glass. Her parents had already expressed their shock over it Braden had actually apologized for it, she knew it was morally wrong but a part of her wanted Dimitri dead. ”I don’t regret it I would have asked Jon again hell had he would of turned the offer down I would have went to your brother and told him to take care of it or other people I know. He deserves to rot in hell for the rest of his life for what he did to you and Tamara and if that makes me heartless and evil so be it.” She finished looking at the bar top and seeing her mother had opened a Merlot and instead poured Bliss a glass of wine and passed it to her.
“Not everyone was happy about my choice in maid of honor so thanks for welcoming Whitney she’s been my best friend since college so thanks for being nice to her. The big wedding was really more Jackie and my mom’s thing than mine but I’m actually really happy about it, they took all that stress away when I was pregnant with the twins. Now granted after they were born Jackson and I changed some things but yeah I’m really excited for tomorrow.” Dani said looking at Bliss, she seemed happier with the wine and she waved to her mother as she started to approach them holding up the glass and taking another sip. She had thought about the feud for awhile to be honest it had been on her mind and Jackson’s since that night they met and she was glad that they instead listened to each other and what they wanted instead of what his dad and hers wanted. They got two amazing kids out of it, she got her soulmate and it had mended things it seemed like or at least put a bandaid over it. “I think your father and mine about had a heart attack when they learned I was pregnant. It turned out for the best and who knows maybe we’ll all be stronger together than apart. Plus I did get a pretty cool sister out of it in you.” She said smiling at Bliss and she meant it. Growing up it was just her and Braden after Vicky died so it was nice to have Bliss in her corner now too.
“Well we have each other because I am glad last year is out of the way and Belle is the newest long lost sibling.” She said laughing as she reached for Dani’s hand. “Victoria everyone talks about her but I really think we should look into what happened. Hunter told me about her and I truly feel like.”
“You two are boring the hell out of me!” Talia cheered as she looked at Dani. “My best friend is getting married y’all! To Jackson Motherfucking Devonshire!” She’d had four champagnes and two whiskey sours Talia truly was feeling no pain. “So I want to know have you got your honeymoon lingerie? Omg we should go shopping for lingerie and I can get you into LaPerla those tits are huge but they work with big tits. You are sexy Dani and Bliss you rule you’re like girl power. I feel like we totally learned that you are a fighter. Grr!” She bit at Bliss like she was about to take a bite out of air. “You are a inspiration and I’m inspired. So Whitney moved out when I we were all in college and I moved in. She married Ryan Walker who was fine in college but he’s looking a little long in the tooth now. She also happens to think she’s better than everyone and in college she even tried to take my gay. Yes she tried to take Simon away and I wasn’t having it. She could have Dani but I draw the line with my gay. Simon showed me Vera Wang did pumps for that he’ll never be forgotten. Anyway what’s the hot juicy gossip tell me more.”
Yasmine walked up with the pool stick in her hand as she looked at Dani, Bliss, and a drunk Talia. “Girl she needs to dance it off where are all the men at? I want to go dance too. This is cute but girl this your last night to be a free bitch. This is turn up time. Prime turn up time. By the way I appreciate you inviting Khalil girl him and Connor hyped about going. Either way we need to turn this party up.” Yasmine saw Bliss smiling and she grabbed Dani’s hand. “DJ Willow will you please turn on something we can shake our asses to?” Yasmine heard the City Girls Twerk song and she immediately began to dance. Throwing her back to the beat of the song and popping her ass to the rhythmic beats. When she saw Dani doing the same and keeping up she screamed. “Go Dani!”
Whitney walked out the floor with Lauren and Jackie by hand and started to dance with them as she laughed. When Yasmine slapped her butt she shrieked as she turned to see Bliss and Max dancing she walked up to the girls and started dancing with them. When she saw everyone having a good time she saw him walk in from her peripheral vision. “Um who called the cop?”
“I don’t know but he can arrest me! And he most definitely doesn’t work for the AFPD and I would know because I love a man in uniform.” Talia said spinning around the room.
“Where is Dani Fraiser?” The man called out. “You! You have the right to get dirty tonight because it’s your bachelorette party!” He shouted and the music changed as he ripped off his shirt and showed his muscles turning around he backflipped and ripped off his pants. As he began to approach Dani and grind on her.
“Girls get your ones out because we are in for a show!” Whitney screamed as four other male strippers came out of the back. “Let’s party!”
Lauren looked at Jackie and grabbed her hand slapping it onto one of the young strippers. “We are here to celebrate and honey let’s celebrate! We didn’t get to do all this when we got married so let’s have fun now. And considering what we both know about marriage she better have it now.” She snickered with Jackie as they danced around the stripper.
Dani had followed Yasmine out to the floor after Talia had come over fully buzzed to break up her conversation with Bliss and began to dance on the floor. She wasn’t as elegant as Yasmine was by any means but she could keep a beat to save her life and watching her closest female friends having a good time she smiled. Her face however turned bright red when the four male strippers came out and Whitney began pulling out stacks of ones and she looked at her mother’s all too eager face about the entire thing and had to burst out laughing, this was was more for the other women in the room. She was mortified when one of the men came over and started to grind on her, the other girls were hollering and shoving money at him and she slapped his butt before he turned his attention to Talia and she saw her opportunity to exit so she did turning around taking out her phone to text Jackson about the craziness and bumping into Jackie. “Jackie I’m so sorry.”
Jackie had been enjoying her evening when Lauren pulled her onto the floor and she began to dance and have a good time, it had been years since she let loose and now that she was it felt freeing in a way. The younger girls of course where all about the hot young men that had walked in and she had noticed Dani’s mortified face and couldn’t help the small smile, she was completely in love with her son the stripper didn’t even phase her. In fact while everyone else was focused on the men dancing her future daughter in law had turned to leave lost in her phone and she saw the text to her son and smiled. “It’s quite alright.” Jackie said softly looking at her and she couldn’t help it but get overwhelmed. “Thank you. For what you did with Jackson. He changed into the man I always knew he could be.”
Dani looked at her and bit her lip for a moment. She got where Jackie was coming from but Jackson had changed her too in more ways than one. He opened her up in ways no one else ever had, completed her heart in ways she didn’t know existed. “He changed because he wanted too Jackie something opened up in him, maybe it was me but it was always inside of him. I just fell in love with him and he changed me too. He loves all the parts of me, even the ugly ones and didn’t run away at them. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without him Jackie and I don’t know what I would do without him. I love him that will never change no matter what I swear it. I don’t care how hard it gets, he’s worth it more than you’ll ever know.” She said softly feeling her phone buzz and looked at Jackie.
Jackie looked at her reaching out and pulling Dani to her wrapping her arms around her hugging her. “And he loves you, just like I do. I’m so happy I get to call you a daughter after tomorrow.” Jackie said feeling Dani hug her back.
“A penny for your thoughts.” Natasha said as she sauntered into the bathroom behind Max who was looking flushed. One day until her twin became the most stable Devonshire made people feel ill. It was shocking and somehow she was here because of them two. She was supposed to sign a deal and then never see any of them again. It had now turned into her marrying the newly crowned fuck up of the Devonshire’s Chauncey. She could at least have the successful one. Pregnant and with a heir of the Devonshire’s she was sure Max could give her insight. They were similar to each other, two women who seemed to be oppressed by men around them. She had the company still and that was most important. DGI retained fifty-one percent while she had forty-nine percent. She had to wiggle stock away from DGI and she would figure the perfect move to do it.
“I just had to get away from the loud chatter.” She had made sure to make a big scene about not taking any champagne or drink any wine. “I’m not sure if the baby or me doesn’t like it. Max if you don’t mind me asking. Your brother Chauncey is becoming distant and I don’t know what to do. Actually I’m asking for your expertise considering that you have lived with Chauncey your entire life. He’s driving me insane because he won’t leave that twat Greer alone. It’s like a moth to a flame and I hate to say it but I need help. I’m pregnant and I don’t want him to leave me for her. That whore will be all over him and I know you don’t want that LeClerq witch back in your family fold. Last time she was near your brother he nearly stole DGI from you all. Max listen to me you have to help me or DGI is in danger.” Natasha said dramatically hoping to rile up Max against Chauncey and Greer. “She threatens to envelope everything she touches with her toxicity. Careful Max you guys almost lost before and I will know that’s bleakly how I got sucked in this mess.”
Max had excused herself from the dance floor to head into the restroom take a cool hand towel to the back of her neck, she was still getting over that cold or so she would like to think. Not to mention all the chatter, she was happy for her brother and Dani of course she was but on the other hand she wanted to just get going with the casino too. On top of all of that she hoped that Sebastian would be back by tomorrow he had texted her to let her know that he was still in Spain and that he was trying to get home as soon as possible. She couldn’t even show off her fancy engagement ring or tell anyone about it because he disappeared so fast after proposing. Bliss and Hunter had gotten married in secret and she was happy for them too, but she was tired of all the fuss about marriage and weddings. She did love Sebastian and did want to marry him or she wouldn’t have said yes when he proposed but she was in no rush to rush down the aisle again either. She had looked up in the mirror when the door opened and Natasha came in and started to talk about the problems that she was having with Chauncey. It was better for her now in her mind to learn that her brother liked to fuck around, he did it to Logan and Selina he probably would have to Greer. Natasha was also pregnant, it seemed to be the year of growing the family and she almost rolled her eyes.
“Seeing how rumor has it in Egypt that he was fucking Greer this really shouldn’t be that surprising to you should it? You came to me of all the women and girls here tonight for sister advice? A time old trick Natasha but I’ll play if you want.” Max said washing her hands as she turned around honestly she would never get Natasha’s world back in Egypt a little to dated for her tastes when it came to careers and freedoms in general. Jackson had stolen SandStar from her with Dani so she kinda got why she went to her over Dani or even Bliss so I guess she was the only one left to talk to about it. “I’m actually surprised that you came to me seeing how my twin and soon to be sister in law stole SandStar from you at fifty one to forty nine and have the patton still for the panels. I don’t want Greer in at DGI anymore than I want a Montgomery in it either but did you really think he was just going to give her up? Call it watching my father backstab my mother for years on end but it’s embedded in a man like Chauncey to want to fuck anything that moves in his view and sometimes it’s hard to let go of that. Did you think he was pristine with Logan, cause girl let me tell you she even had to decide if she was going to put up with that or not.” Max said shrugging her shoulders at her.
“Well I’m not your mother.” Natasha said with a coldness. “I would never let a man choose my destiny. Something that people have been doing for me for years. I will retain my company and I when I do I will strike against Jackson and Dani. I’ve played by my own rules for years including leaving Egypt for America. I wonder you’ve never been stifled because you had female genitalia. It must make you American women strong but I find you to be so weak in other areas. You see I just couldn’t stay with your father after he’d betrayed me over and over and over and over again. You say that I must put up with Chauncey but you’ve never been second to any man. Which is why you and the sweet Sebastian will fail.” Opening her purse she saw Max’s shock on her face. “What are we not speaking our truths to each other? You are too hard and you’re too ambitious to be his wife. He’ll want you to be locked up in a house baking cookies for you and your child. Me I would never be that for any man. I have spent years in the best schools, I have had the best teachers, and have learned from my father how to do business. Do you think I want to change diapers all day?” She laughed as she grabbed her blush and started to lightly reapply.
“This baby will be at the first boarding school when it turns five. I mean I don’t want it nor do I truly need it. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles you see I heard a rumor that your father has clauses in his will. That his grandchildren get a certain percentage of DGI and by having this baby I’ll have enough stock to either sell or get my company back. So what I am saying is you might want to warn your brother that I’m not to be played with. He’s hurt all those other women, I’ll leave him broken if he doesn’t stop.” She looked at Max and saw her disdain for her. “What two ambitious women talking about the truth. Look at Dani she has what we all want. Love eternal but will it last. What I’ve learned about love is simple it’s a losing game. And since you are in the casino business you should know I never bet against the house.”
Max threw the towel in the trash as she looked at Natasha so clearly the fangs were now out when it came to how she really felt about their family. Of course she was not her mother and that jab was something she had heard from everyone and it was one that she refused to let Natasha see the hurt her mother was strong in her own regard. “No, I’ve never been stifled so to speak. My father told me I could do anything that I ever wanted and he certainly wouldn’t have raised us in an archaic world to do it. If you won’t be second than this entire relationship with Chauncey is nothing more than a sham which then begs the question what are you really after. I would call you a gold digger but that doesn’t really apply in this case so that leaves me with only one opinion your partnership with DGI is simply a sham to keep up appearances. Which when you think about it is quite sad actually.” Max spit out trying her best to ignore the fact that Natasha had made a little dig at her and Sebastian that was not going to be her tied up at home with a shit ton of kids surrounding her.
“You know for all the shit things my dad did to my mom he never actually sent us away to boarding school and if that is my brothers baby he’d never let you do that either. I think you’re forgetting that part of your little scheme he gets a say too and seeing how he didn’t give up Maddie to her biological grandparents when they requested and refused to send her to boarding school good luck with that.” Max said looking at her as she placed her hand on her hip and leaned on the wall questioning when the last time it was cleaned was. It wasn’t super ugly anymore Lauren had did amazing work with the remodel but people came to get shit faced. “Eternal love is not what women like you and I want Natasha its not bred into us, someone like Dani she can have that someone like Bliss can have it too. But women like me, you and even Greer we aim a little higher than steady career and children. It’s why I think you’re a fake. Its why no one has warmed up to you since you and Chauncey got engaged. You see it’ll be just another checkbox he checks off when he marries you and no one wants to get excited for a wedding like that when they’ve already done that with me first. If you want my divorce attorney’s number I’m happy to give it or maybe your friend Noah can help you. ”
Rubbing her belly she looked at Max and narrowed her eyes. “I was forced here if you recall your brother stole my company from me. I want to get what’s mine back and I assure you I will.” Natasha said leaning on the sink as she looked at Max. “The truth of the matter it’s not your brother’s choice. I won’t be changing any diapers and if Chauncey wants to play stay at home father that’s fine.” When she snidely spoke about divorce she smirked. “No I’d rather not use someone that is so associated with the Devonshire’s. You all know how to betray with the best of them. Look at what Lowell did to his best friends. I’m much more curious about you Max, so ambitious and still not the one your father looks at. Even though my father shipped me away he made sure I got the business unlike you.” She hissed at the other woman as she wet a paper towel and placed it behind her neck.
“And what are you excited for Max? You clearly are the settle down type but truthfully it seems like you’re heading down that path. For a woman as fierce as you are, you can’t stop looking at that phone. What’s wrong little lady your man hasn’t checked up on you.” Taking the paper towel off her neck tossing it in the trash. Then she pulled out her lipgloss applying another new layer on her plump lips. “Your family hasn’t warmed up to me because I refuse to let you in. You’re right a marriage of convenience is in the cards but I know where this ends. Do you? Sebastian is a very handsome man and you’ve ruined plenty of relationships and even your own marriage before. Are you telling me that you are ready to give him everything? I think not and we’ve both made it clear we aren’t those women but you keep going after those men. Why is that Max? Please let me stop playing armchair shrink when you have enough money to figure out why you are such a contradiction. I guess we both have to see where this goes now won’t we. I just think I’ll have the last laugh.” Grabbing her purse she walked to the door. “I think I got the leg up considering I know Chauncey is a monster but does Sebastian know you are one also?”
Max looked at her and the little dig she made about not associating with lawyers for her family and couldn’t help it as she looked at Natasha smugly. “Of course not rumor is you have your own lawyer on retainer in the boardroom and the bedroom. Does Chauncey know about him I’m just curious if that affair is still on going or not. I did hear those pictures told quite the story who knew?” Max said flatly as she looked at the woman who was staring at her in the mirror and she had to wonder if that was even Chauncey’s kid, did Chauncey think it was, was it really then again it was none of her business or maybe it was. “I mean I’d hate to go to Chauncey and ask if he knew you and Noah were still a thing if it were true and maybe that little bun in the oven really isn’t his meaning, you really don’t belong here or have a claim over my brother or my family.” Max said seeing Natasha fume at her and she shrugged she was not going to play nice with her it stimply wasn’t in her nature. If that baby wasn’t Chuancey’s she would be in for a world of hurt but Natasha didn’t need to know that. “Obviously he didn’t make sure you got it seeing how you need to be married to get it, isn’t that right your uncle gets everything if you don’t marry a man. Pathetic.” She said.
“I did marry young but I won’t again, I don’t need a husband unlike you my dad never attached my inheritance at DGI or my trust fund to who I shared a bed or a wedding ring with. Hunter and I had a prenup and if I had to guess my brother will make sure he has one with you too.” Max sneered at her she wasn’t going to let it show that she was annoyed that Sebastian had only been texting her updates and that he hadn’t called, she as not going to cause a scene at her twins wedding, Seb would be back by tomorrow for it. And if he wasn’t, she could then share with everyone that they were engaged afterwards when he did get back. Natasha never needed to know that about her relationship though. “I did accept Bliss and Hunter wasn’t all that for me I was never faithful to him call it my daddy’s gene’s but he knew it was in for disaster too. Sebastian and I unlike you and my brother don’t have secrets from each other, I’m not chasing down my ex like Chauncey is with Greer I washed my hands of them. Putting one in a wheelchair and letting my sister have my leftovers. I think you’re hiding something and I’m, going to figure out what.” Max said looking at her at the door as she heard the cheers from back inside the Pub. “You better head back on out and see who really wants you here or who even noticed you were gone.”
“Many of people have tried to take me down. You will be another on the long list and do you think your petty words will hurt me and Chauncey? No love is here so if this baby wasn’t his then I think he’d be relieved considering that this is only a marriage for competition. You know what I think is sad how your father has cheated on your mother repeatedly and you and your big brother have picked up those genes as you said. But the comedy in the tragedy is you think that you are big enough to go up against me. Max go play craps, or bidwiz at that casino because you don’t want to see me now or never. Also you should know that if you cross me I’ll use all my influence to get Sebastian deported and considering the amount of oil we bring in from Egypt I think the Government would bend to my will.” Natasha tucked her purse underneath her arm. “You don’t have to wonder what I’m after my dear. My legacy unchained and unbridled which your foolish brother will help me attain. And if he doesn’t I’ll be the second Mrs. Devonshire to leave his ass. Except I don’t plan on dying.” She saw the sting of Logan’s death registering on Max’s face.
“It was good talking to you Max, very informative and interesting to see exactly what the rest of you are thinking of me. You warn that twin of yours that I won’t stop until I get what’s rightfully mine. I assure you when I do leave Atlas Falls, SandStar won’t be DGI’s but mine.” Natasha walked out of the bathroom and looked down at her belly. “It’s okay baby that bitch isn’t related to you anyway.” Noah and she had broken it off when she arrived at Atlas Falls this baby wasn’t Chauncey but it wasn’t Noah’s either.
Here she was. She couldn’t believe when Dani Frasier, soon to be Devonshire called little old her to come to the party. Well she was invited to the party and she was going to attend it. Not only that she came with a gift. As Belle walked into the party she smirked taking in the party. The stripper was dancing and everyone was celebrating this was her type of party. As she scoped the room she saw Dani, Bliss, Whitney, and Yasmine dancing. On the other side was Aspen, Max, Brooke. and Natasha with other women sprinkled around. She saw Jackie’s face when she walked in and she rolled her eyes. She got over Bliss she’d just have to learn to live with her as well. Strutting through the women dancing she felt like her presence had to be known. As she walked up to Dani she began to dance on her holding the blue Tiffany’s box over her head. As she grinded on her future sister-in-law. As she turned to her.
“Thank-you for the invite inside is something new if you choose to wear it tomorrow. It’s a couple of diamonds I think a woman should always have diamonds on her wedding day. Although I’m sure Jackson has a few surprises in store. I hear the Devonshire men love to spoil their women considering this locket is my mummy’s and daddy got it for her. So tell me are you excited? I’ve always thought of my wedding. It would be huge and much bigger than this. I would have like four dresses and I would have it be like a week event. It’s too bad my dad won’t be here to walk me down the aisle. Either way I’m quite sure you’re who should tame the savage that was my brother. I heard the salacious stories about him but you’re proof that a woman can change a man. I didn’t think you had it in you to have a rave-up like this.”
Dani had taken a break to call Jackson after the text about what happened with Lowell she wanted to check in on him just to make sure. She was actually shocked and really proud of what he did, he’d been bottling it in for a few months and the Skye thing had sent it over the edge, but Lowell needed to hear him out. For his sake especially when he didn’t even bother to show up for the rehab situation nor did he even respond to the letter Jackson had wrote, once she knew he was okay though she had turned her attention back to the party. More like instead Miranda had come over and drug her away from her second glass of bourbon to the dance floor. When she felt someone grind on her and then stopped looking at Belle she had extended the invite, ok her and Jackson had but she didn’t actually think she would show the hell up. She looked at the box it was such a Devonshire move like money fixed everything that she had to smile Belle certainly knew her roots, she saw Max and Bliss kinda giving her the most bizarre look, Yasmine was glaring and Jackie she wasn’t sure how to read gently took Belle back to the bar and her drink picking it up and taking a drink.
“I um yeah, we wanted to invite you, yeah this is awkward. It was more of courtesy thing I didn’t really fully think out if you actually showed up. I figured you’d stay home with your mom and Lowell?” Dani said realizing she was so ill equipped to deal with Belle it wasn’t like they were close or anything. Belle had made waves with most of her wedding party and Max and Bliss, she and Jackie had gotten into it at Yasmine’s party, she had ruined Yasmine’s party. She picked up the glass again and took another sip before sitting it back down and gathering her thoughts. “Sorry let’s try again we haven’t been formally introduced. Dani Fraiser soon to be Devonshire. Jackson and I wanted to invite you, Rory gave you the wedding invitation and we figured you didn’t really have a say in how you were conceived just like your sister so yeah. Thanks for the gift? So do you want a drink?” She finished offering Belle a small smile as she did and taking the box.
“I would love a merlot if you have Chateau Lafite Rothschild but I doubt it. It’s really expensive but merlot wine if this fine establishment has that.” She said as her eyes narrowed around the room. The mood was down right frigid “I didn’t plan on attending but I love pissing off people so I thought why not honor you all with my presence.” Looking around it was like the dive pubs in Manchester that her and friends would frequent when they wanted to get shitface without ending up in the papers. “Isabelle Archibald soon to be Devonshire.” She said, mocking Dani with a cutting tone. “Everyone calls me Belle and even though this is our first meeting. I do want to tell you I plan on being very demure for your big day. I do appreciate the invite but my conception isn’t a big deal. I think the people of Atlas Falls happen to be far too concerned in my father’s and mother’s personal business. Furthermore if we want to be real I like a bit of controversy so attending this shindig was the ample opportunity to see my family in a much more loose setting.” She flipped her hair and looked at Bliss and Max who had moved together and whispering she smiled sitting down at the barseat.
“So tell me Dani, are you ready for the world of the Devonshire family? Hell I’m a member and I’m not sure I’m ready.” Belle took the glass of red wine and she began to drink as she saw Bliss and Max sulking over to them. “Great.” She said rolling her eyes as she swirled in the barstool and looked back at Dani. “You and I should be friends considering I won’t have any after this. Promise not to make a scene at the wedding.” Resting her chin on her right shoulder to see them coming up. Swirling around she looked at her big sisters approaching her she folded her arms. “Our introduction will have to wait because this ought to be good. Max and Bliss don’t you two look stunning tonight. I’m sure Bliss that Hunter will not like all that body glitter on you. Just married and about to go for two for two on divorces.” She said bitingly as she sipped her wine.
“I’ve been married twice but I never got a man because he was bored with his soulmate.” Bliss saw Max cut her eyes at her. “I’m not coming over here to bicker Belle. I’m coming to extend a white flag and Max is with me because we both fought tooth and nail against each other last year. Dani was there and witnessed it. It wasn’t pretty at all. We don’t want to do that again or go through that and if you’re willing to apologize to Jackie for disrespecting her then maybe everyone can start over.” Bliss said looking at Belle and then turned to Max to see if she had anything else to add or say.
“I don’t think my existence is something I need to make an apology for. I’m not sorry that father couldn’t keep it in his pants because I wouldn’t be here if he did. So I’m not going to pretend like I’m seeing the big deal that you all are making. She’s a grown woman and knew she was marrying Lowell Devonshire. How did she think it would end? His misogynistic behavior that is? I also think it’s quite pathetic that you are pandering to Jackie. Is it because mummy placed you in boarding school? Or is it because Dimitri knocked a few of your brain cells loose. Your disrespect of our mother by always trying to protect their mother’s feelings is killing our mummy. So save your pathetic olive branch. I prefer the distance and you keep the very same energy.” Belle spat at Bliss and looked defiantly at Max. “You’re here so I’m positively sure you have something to say to me.” She sipped her wine. Pulling out her phone to show her the dress she was wearing. “Dani, do you care to look at my gown for tomorrow. I’d hate to overshadow the bride; it was something big brother Rory was so worried about.”
Dani looked at her and if the bourbon in her glass wasn’t part of a very old collection she would have tossed it in the little brats face. She was actually trying to be nice to Belle, because she was Jackson’s little sister but the girl was an insufferable little brat not to mention rude. “Would you like to wear red tomorrow? I was trying to be nice to extend a branch to you because family is important to me and your brother. However, you do anything and I do mean anything to ruin my wedding to your brother. Which includes wearing fucking white on my day I’ll make sure you’re wearing red to the event. Don’t believe me try me little girl. Also back the hell off Bliss about Dimitri you little snot, you have no idea what she went through.” Dani said taking a sip of her drink and eyeing Belle as she did wondering if she should leave her alone or not with Max and Bliss.
Max sneered at Belle and almost choked on her champagne when Dani told her off, good for her. Belle was being a brat and it was in bad form to upstage the bride no matter what the fact that Belle even wanted too showed how much like her she was in some ways. “I think you’re an entitled spoiled little brat in some ways you actually remind me of myself when I was younger except I had an ounce of class about how I conducted myself. You must think it’s cute don’t you? Poor little old you that had two parents that loved and adored her growing up that took you in because your mother was too chicken shit to tell our father about you yet here you are defending the bitch. Spare me, you went after my mother publicly and expected us all to what welcome you with gracious out pouring of arms?” Max said twirling her glass of champagne as she took a drink. She saw Belle glaring at her and shrugged and her eyes narrowed as she looked at her how dare she bring up Dimitri like she was. “You certainly like to judge our sister on how she chose to survive when your mother didn’t lift a finger to help her in the situation she was in. Yet you want to stand there and try to knock my mother? You know who did help Bliss she did. You’re lucky you even got an invite to the wedding you little brat because I wouldn’t have been as gracious as our brother and Dani are being.” Max finished Belle wanted to have an antics at the moment bring it.
“Did you both not almost kill someone last year?” She said swirling her drink in her hand. Watching Dani march away she felt an odd sense of satisfaction even though it wasn’t her wedding they were all thinking of what she would do. “Listen it’s boring to sit here and snipe at each other but if we must. Max you think I want to be you? That’s a hoot considering you married far too young and divorced even quicker. Now you’re dating a semi-rich man and supportive of the sister who stole your husband. Bliss you were known for being a party girl and if I recall your name was in the papers all the time. So both of you and your judgements mean very low in my book of give a fuck.” Belle sipped her wine as she looked at Max. “I don’t judge her but I was around to see the princess and if you were maybe you’d be a bit more skeptical not about the abuse but this nice girl act. Bliss you can fool everyone but you aren’t this bare armed Madonna who lost her son. You weren’t that nice to people and Max let’s face you have a reputation of being a harsh bitch. So why do you both seem to think I should be the nicest little Devonshire bitch around.”
“The question I have is why do you think you need to be a bitch Belle? If I recall you were a brat but you weren’t this heartless. Has mother told you how special you are to her? How are you the best thing in her life? Newsflash you spoiled little bitch.” Snapping her fingers in Belle face. “She is the grand manipulator Belle and she will hurt and disappoint you. You seem to think that Tess is some angel but honey she isn’t the victim in this story the women you keep berating is the victim in this story. You have a really skewed version of the truth and sweetheart if you want then I’ll tell you it all. I might have been a bitch a couple of years ago well it was because a man was beating me every night behind the doors. You know that and that little dig was ugly and I suggest you stop because one day you’ll look like what’s on the inside. All that ugliness will be on the forefront. You’ve always been a ugly person and I think finding out you are a Devonshire has done you no justice. I regret that you ever found out that Christopher and Jane aren’t your parents. I wish this secret would have stayed buried forever because you are going to be an insidious presence on this family.” Bliss snapped at Belle as she shook her head.
“I know I’m nasty but are you saying I’m evil? You know what Bliss you’ve always resented that our mummy loved me just as much as you.” Belle said defiantly as she rolled her eyes.
“Then why was I the child that she kept.” Bliss seethed back at Belle.
Max had tried not to snort when Belle tried to come back and then Bliss bit back with such ferociousness that she knew she was every bit as much their father as the rest of them were. She took another drink of her champagne deciding to stop she was not going to get completely shit faced a hangover at the wedding would be awful. “Ouch that had to hurt didn’t it Belle the real truth at least your mummy kept her, you were simply discarded. You were right about one thing it would be so boring to sit here and snipe at each other all night but since you insist here we all are. Last year there was that entire mess with Philip such a tragedy that Bliss and I can’t recall what happened, it was all so sudden and tragic.” Max snapped at Belle their story had been rock solid for an entire year they weren’t backing down now even with Belle in her face. “You want to be me Belle you see you crave to be me or Bliss at this rate. You’re just the child that literally no one wants including our father. He wants you now because the rest of us aren’t there and you have him. Now we can continue to jab if you would like or you can mingle and not make a scene. It’s really up to you at this rate but I would avoid Yasmine if I were you, she’s a friend of the bride and hates you too.
For a few seconds Bliss actually felt badly when she saw Belle’s expression and when Max unleashed at her it was a one two punch. She and Max were getting good at dragging someone collectively. It was a happy moment and sad one all at one time because she didn’t want to hate her little sister but this little harpy deserved every bit of this wrath they were giving her. She was spoiled, selfish, and a bitch. Bliss had to wonder if she ever came off like Belle to anyone because it wasn’t a good look at all. “Go back London, Belle. Beg Christopher and Jane to let you back in their arms and see if you can get your family back because unlike me you’re unwanted. You are not needed and if you try to hijack Dani and Jackson’s day I swear I’ll knock you into next year before the clock strikes midnight.” Bliss grabbed Max’s hand. “Sis we don’t have to subject ourselves to this hot mess anymore.”
Belle watched her sisters walking off and Max and Bliss words echoed in her ears. She was never a carbon copy of Max or Bliss nor would she be leaving Atlas Falls. She belonged here and she would show them all that. As she finished her glass of wine she grabbed her purse waving at Yasmine and Dani in the corner of the room. As she turned back and looked at her sisters who were staring at her so intensely that it was burning a hole into her head. She stormed out of The Pub and couldn’t shake that feeling that Max placed in her heart. Was Lowell and she really getting along so well because he couldn’t have his other children?
Bliss looked at Max as Belle left looking crushed as she bit down on her lip. “Were we too harsh with her? I mean we both had bad bitch phases Max. Where we thought the world revolved around us and she is being like us. I mean I wasn’t the best role model and you. You’re you.” She said giggling as she folded her arms. “No Max I’m not bending she’s horrid but I don’t know. I feel bad that you basically said her relationship with dad is fake and I told her to go. Should we go after her? No she’s manipulative like this, she says horrible things and then when you slap her back she runs off all sad. This is a pattern and I’m not falling for it.” Bliss tapped her foot. “Then why do I feel so badly?”
Max shrugged not really sure what she should say to Bliss about Belle she didn’t feel bad about it call her heartless but Belle was being a little brat on top of it, a manipulative one. She wanted to be a Devonshire that was part of their nature and she didn’t feel bad when she had told her what she thought about their father either. He was clinging to Belle and Tess like a damn life preserver in her mind because the rest of them knew the truth and didn’t put up blinders about what he had done to have Zerick. “Let’s just enjoy the rest of tonight.” Max said as she looked at Bliss and turned to watch Belle walk out and then turned around back to the dance floor.
Merci couldn’t believe the wildness of Dani Fraiser’s bachelorette party. She was the wholesome spitfire of Atlas Falls not the girl who had strippers at her party. Walking around she knew she had to do it. It was no way that she could let Whitney Hessington get away with manipulating Skye. She walked slowly to the bar and ordered up a vodka and tonic water. As she sat down in the booth she saw people waving at her. Lauren and Jackie stopped for a second before they went back to chasing the strippers down. That was an image she’d never get out of her head Lauren Fraiser and Jackie Devonshire chasing strippers. Swirling the drink in her hand she knew that it was now or never. Plus growing up Merci wasn’t a punk. Yes Skye defended her a lot but it was time before Skye and she had to fight on her own. Tonight would be one of those nights. Kicking off her Versace heels and slipping on her Gucci loafers. She unzipped her purse and pulled out a jar of vaseline. Slowly applying it on her face and all over her arms.
Opening her compact mirror she wondered if any of the elite of Atlas Falls would hire after tonight. Who was she kidding they would because she was the best. Taking off all her jewelry she got up and walked to Whitney holding her drink. She was talking to Yasmine and Bliss but that was over. “Pardon me you’re Whitney Hessington Walker right?” When the woman nodded she tossed her drink right in her face. “You bitch!” With all her might she hauled off and punched Whitney right in her nose. Seeing the woman fall down right on her ass. The music seemed to stop and the silence of the room was loud enough to alarm everyone. “That’s for stealing my best friend son you bitch. You used a drug addict to make sure you gained custody of Miles. Skye loved Jon and wouldn’t just give up his kid if anything she wished she would have been like Tamara. Redeemed in the eyes of the Fraiser’s and the noble commoners of Atlas Falls. Now get up bitch so I can whoop your ass properly.”
Yasmine looked at Bliss and covered her mouth. “Oh shit.”
Whitney had been enjoying the party and never in her life did she think she would see the day that Lauren Fraiser and Jackie Devonshire were wild let alone had hired male strippers and were enjoying them.. Dani looked amused and mortified all at once over it and she had to laugh and then she had started to get to know Bliss and Yasmine the other two people that didn’t completely dislike her or hate her guts. Miranda didn’t hate her but it was awkward between them now, it was slightly before as she was closer to Dani in some ways than she was with Miranda. She’d been there for Dani all through college while MIranda had went to DC with KC for the FBI had been through the ups and downs so much in each other’s lives and yeah at first she hated that Dani and her brother ended. But she also knew it was for the best her father would have pushed her best friend too far, asked too much of her and not even Dani could save Lex from that. She had been talking to Bliss and Yasmine about the Scottswood neighborhood project when the woman had approached her and it took her a few minutes to figure out who she was but she then did when Merci started talking. She was so tired of Skye’s drama in her life and looked at the girl up and down what in the hell was she talking about? Before she knew it the other woman had punched her and sent her back flying to the ground.
“What the hell bitch!” Whitney said looking up at her seeing Miranda and Dani lunge at them both respectively and she fought against Dani trying to reach the little bitch in front of her. Who in the hell was she to judge her for what happened with Miles? Miles was her son and no amount of DNA would change that. “Your little friend lied to me and Ryan for years you bitch about who the father was but you never once thought about that did you? Skye is a lying sack of shit has been since she was spreading her legs to the soon to be groom and Jon for over half a year. You want the truth about what she did you can’t handle the truth it would taint your prefect little picture of your sister.” Whitney said using sister in air quotes for emphasis as she did she was to fucking tied of this shit with Skye’s innocent act when it came to everything that happened like she hadn’t changed her story ever time she needed money, money that she and Ryan paid her. “You sister didn’t know who the father of her baby was and lied to me and Ryan about it. We didn’t even know till last year so please stop with your outrage over her shit not stinking.”
“Bitch I will take you out! Watch your mouth! I’m from Scottswood ho, don’t let the Gucci fool you!” Merci screamed as Yasmine and Bliss grabbed her. “Let me go! Y’all don’t have a clue what’s going on. Let me go!” She demanded knowing she was showing out at Dani’s event but it was a recurring curse on her events. She just ruined it this time. “Yasmine and Bliss this doesn’t have anything to do with you so let me go.” Merci commanded as she saw Miranda and Dani now holding Whitney back. “Girl save it. Just because you couldn’t have a baby you go and take my sisters? I don’t care if she was on Maury a thousand times trying to find out who the father of her baby is that doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of an addict. Period!” Waving her hand under her neck to say it was dead. She didn’t want to hear shit else about it. “I’m going to beat your ass.” Merci tried to get to Whitney. “Do you understand what we’ve been through? No you don’t you just want to call her a drug addict and make her the bad guy. How much money you give her bitch? How much did it cost to buy a fucking baby?”
Merci looked at Yasmine who had let her go along with Bliss because they were tired of trying to hold her back. Miranda stepped up and she shook her head. “Girl this isn’t even between me and you. You should be just as pissed! She stole your nephew! Miranda move or else we can scrap. I have no problem fighting this entire room. Girl I’m fed up with how y’all have treated us. Was I wild in my youth? Yes! But do we deserve to be called all these names and treated like we aren’t human or we don’t have a heart. Fuck you! Fuck you rich motherfuckers! All y’all do is hurt people who don’t have as much money as y’all. Girl bye you got your baby right? Didn’t you have your miracle baby? Give Jon and Skye their child back you thieving bitch.”
Whitney lunged at Merci and felt Dani pulling her back with Miranda she would throw down if she had too but honestly looking at her best friends face she wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do or not. Merci had no idea what it was like for her and Ryan after Miles was born or before it and they honestly thought they were doing the right thing helping Skye out of the situation she had gotten herself into. “No you save it you think because you are from the hood you have the right to say whatever the hell you want you don’t! You had no idea what Ryan and I went through before we decided to adopt Miles, she came to us about the adoption it’s not like I tracked her the hell down.” Whitney said seeing Dani look at her and Miranda and they again made her step back honestly Dani looked pissed the hell off and who could blame her at this rate. “Do you know what it was like to raise him after he was born? How fucked up he was with all the drugs that she had been doing? You have no fucking clue or idea what it was like and I would do it all over again because like it or not bitch he is my son and like I told your friend and Jon, try it. Just try to rip him from me.” Whitney spat back with so much venom she was shaking at Merci.
Miranda was so shocked at all of it, right now it was weird for her and Whitney now more than it had ever been but she was trying to her best for the wedding. They were both Dani’s friends and she had tried to wrap her head around what Skye did, it wasn’t Whitney or Ryan’s fault that Skye had lied. She had missed out on years with her nephew there was no denying that but none of it was anyone’s fault at the moment but Skye’s and it’s like the people around her refused to even acknowledge that. “Seeing how you were chasing Devin last year and you’re with him now you think that makes us instant besties? Newsflash it doesn’t.” Miranda said looking at her and then back at Dani who looked fucking pissed and frankly she had every right to be her rehersal and now this all because of Skye’s drama was a lot to take in.
Dani looked at her mother who was standing over by Willow and trying to decide if she should play more music to get everyone moving or not. Jackie was watching her like a hawk and she glared at Merci, she didn’t like her and frankly she didn’t have too but for the love of god tomorrow was her fucking day. Tonight was supposed to be about her wedding and once again Skye’s drama had invaded her life and she was so fucking irritated at it. “I had to hire you to plan my wedding. I wasn’t really given a choice but seeing how you fucking put the moves on Jackson at the fundraiser by kissing him knowing it would hut me, you are so fucking out of line right now. Your friend came back to town need I remind you because Lowell fucking hired her to try and seduce the man I’m going to marry. The man you had a threesome with so spare me with your fake fucking outrage right now. Now I’ve been nice and frankly I’m tired of being nice. If you can’t put this this aside until after I fucking say I do tomorrow get the fuck out. Everyone else here has seemed to be able to do that.”
“Fine.” Merci said turning around. “Don’t call me for no more parties. And girl you’re marrying him get over it! It was a kiss, you act like I screwed him.” She said looking at Jackie who had a mortified look on her face when she said that. “Just for the record Miranda, bitch I’d never be your friend. I don’t like you enough for that but being Jon’s sister I think you’d have more sense than to be fraternizing with this girl. Oh Whitney I’ll see you again honey and if you want to finish this I have no problem. Just so you know.” She cleared her throat and looked at Miranda and Whitney. “I’m hood and it don’t have anything to do with your ass being beat. Just know I’m watching you bitch and the first time you make the wrong move with Miles we will take him from you. Oh and Dani you’re welcome you vain bitch.” She said grabbing her bag. “You might not have wanted me but I’m the reason your wedding is as grand as it is. I got all the shit Jackson and you want. So don’t try me honey and nobody has to put this shit to the side because you’re getting married. Girl this isn’t a national holiday you selfish little. You know what let me keep a modicum of professionalism, I’ll see you tomorrow.” She looked at Miranda. “You sad bitch.”
Whitney shook her head at Merci seeing the blood droplets on the floor as she pinched her nose and tilted her head back only hoping nothing bruised for tomorrow it wasn’t broken but how awful. She had to admire Dani though for calling shit out with Merci she had been told about what Merci pulled at the hospital fundraiser. One thing her best friend was not was a pushover and seeing how Skye’s lies and drama had threatened her day Dani was sick of it. She shook her head feeling Bliss lead her to one of the booths in the Pub and she watched the exchange hoping Merci left it alone and left.
“I wouldn’t hire you again to plan an event I threw, if my life depended on it. Jackson has some weird sense of fucking loyalty to you so I’ve been nice about it. I don’t care if it was a kiss or not you did it to hurt me, to try to cause shit between me and him. Own it for once in your life. Just like you went after Devin while he was with Miranda. I would have been happy to marry Jackson knocked up in front of a judge at a courthouse but you’re right let’s be cordial since you are running my wedding tomorrow. I expect you to do a good job since that is what Jackson and I are paying you for not to come into my bachelorette party and cause a scene.” Dani hissed looking at her and seeing her mother’s amused expression on her face she had a tempter always had and was so tired of this back and forth with Skye and Merci. She was shaking as she looked at Merci and then at Miranda. “Do I need to repeat myself? I asked you to leave.”
Miranda looked at Dani she’d seen her pissed a few times in their friendship and looked at Jackie’s mortified face and she almost had to wonder if Jackie knew Dani wouldn’t put up with shit until now. Lauren looked proud of her daughter for standing her ground about all of it and she looked at her best friend and then at Merci she’d drag her out if she had too. She’d probably even get a thrill out of it seeing how just like Skye was trying to stir a pot Merci had been too with her and Devin. “I really would listen to her. Either she’d drag you out or I will. I have a feeling I’d get way more satisfaction out of it than she would though.” Miranda said seeing Bliss trying to stop Whitney’s bloody nose and Dani burning a hole into Merci with her eyes.
“Bye.” She said looking at them completely annoyed how they all teamed up against her. “Oh Dani I kissed Jackson to piss you off. Is that taking ownership? Girl if you mad at me for kissing him then you should really hate half of the women in Atlas Falls. Your man has been around the block a couple of times.” Merci looked at Dani and smirked. “If I didn’t take Devin then she wouldn’t be wide open for KC right? Whatever just enjoy your wedding princess. I’m done with her but like I told you I’m watching and itching to figure what happened all those years ago.” Merci went to the booth grabbing her bag and stormed off.
Jackie had made an excuse to leave the party for a little bit seeing Belle had unnerved her reminding her of her confrontation with Tess a few weeks ago. After Merci’s entrance and exit with Whitney Walker she had taken the moment to say that she would head home to check on things for tomorrow a little lie that had slipped out. She would let Dani stew about Merci for a bit the girl would still be employed at the end of the day she was an excellent party planner, it was just this event had seemed to throw everyone for a loop with drama related to Skye. She wasn’t angry about how any of them felt about things, in her opinion it was complicated would that have been how it would have been with Bliss and Belle had she of known? Fighting for custody of them? Would she have wanted custody of them? She shook her head as she got in her waiting car and had the driver take her to her nephew. While she was happy for the wedding tomorrow and to see her son and Dani finally get married her conversation with Tess had been playing in the back of her mind. What had she meant by saying that she had done exactly what they wanted? That was something that was plaguing her mind and it seemed that the only one that could answer some of those questions were her nephew. Once she reached the condos she quietly took the elevator to his level and knocked on the door smiling at him as he opened it for her.
“I’m sorry to come by so late I am hoping I am not interrupting you and your lady friend Dru?” Jackie said looking around seeing a bottle of wine that was open on the counter and some paperwork for the country club out. She was happy that she had hired him and that they were working together building that bond but she wondered if that bond was strong enough to break the chains of his past with Forbes and Tess. When he nodded his head at her that she assumed Dru was not there she took a seat on the couch looking at him. “I wanted to talk to you how much do you know about Forbes and Tess? How much do you remember about Tess in your life growing up?”
Zerick had been looking at the invitation to Jackson’s wedding for the last few minutes wondering if it was a good idea for him to even come to the event and he had almost thought about not going until his aunt had appeared. In truth he and Dru were just having fun but she seemed to want to come and go as she pleased and he didn’t have the time to commit to someone at the moment. He was too focused on making sure that Lowell had paid for what he had done to his mother all those years ago, that was his only goal. Someone like Talia would have stood in the way with that but it seemed like Dru and he were cut from the same cloth she didn’t expect him to be super into her or them fucking, and he was okay with that. When his aunt had arrived so late though he had to wonder why as he let her in and then she asked about Forbes and Tess. Truthfully most of his youth had been spent under Forbes wings, Tess had come in and out of his life at various times and then he was sent to the couple in London that Forbes knew. His childhood was anything but remotely normal and he had come to terms with that over the last few months but he was moving forward with it.
“Aren’t you supposed to be preparing everything for tomorrow? Why are you so worried about the past?” Zerick asked her not sure what he was supposed to tell her how Forbes favored him over his other children? How he had a rivalry with Philip now because of it? How he grew up hating Lowell and everything he stood for including her and his siblings for most of his life? How Tess would visit and she and Forbes would spend hours together talking about his mother and him? When he would come around they would whisper? “She would come around sometimes often her and Forbes would talk in secret locked in another room, Philip and I used to try and overhear it at times trying to figure out what it was they were talking about. Forbes would catch us at times and it wasn’t pleasant.” Zerick said refilling his glass as his voice trailed off he remembered getting knocked around a few times by his godfather for eavesdropping it was why he was so good at it not he could do it without getting caught. “Why?”
Jackie wrung her hands in her lap she didn’t want to ask about what Forbes did or didn’t do she remembered all too well the rumors that he had nearly killed Audrey a few times and she used to feel badly for Cassie and Philip. She assumed that Forbes ran his house with an iron fist and that included her nephew as she looked at him clam up when she had asked about Tess and she took a breath wondering what was really going on with all of it. “Did they ever talk about what happened with your mother while you were around? I am trying to wrap my head around this still to make sense of what your mother told me happened that night. Make sense that she felt the need to turn to Forbes, instead of me. I would have went to the police if Lowell had raped her, surely you have to believe that I would not have stood by him.” Jackie said looking at him and she felt a sense of shame at the hurt look on his face when she began to question her own sister again after months of trusting the story. She didn’t want to question it anymore but what Belle had said the other night was sitting right there festering like an open wound.
“I am simply asking because I want to know what you really know about that night don’t you find it odd that they would talk like you weren’t right there in the house with him? I understand that it was painful for you but Zerick please, help me understand what it was like with Forbes what you know about what you were told.” Jackie said pleading with him to open up to her, to trust her with what he knew or didn’t know with Forbes and his mother about Lowell’s involvement in it. “Something about it has been bugging me since Belle approached us the other night at the Yasmine’s party where Belle hijacked it how she was so coy about it all like she knew something we didn’t. Then the other day I went over to confront Lowell about everything and Tess was there and she told me that I did exactly what she wanted me to. So please I am begging you to help me understand what you do or don’t know. Help me understand what she is talking about before I know for sure if I made the right decision or not.” Jackie pleaded with him.
“So you’re going to take the word of some little brat that was raised in England by the upper crest of society as the gospel when it comes to what happened with your sister and Lowell? Belle is a spoiled little brat has been for years even when we would visit Jane and Christopher on holiday and if you think that she said it out of the kindness of her heart for you dear aunt you are moe naive than I ever thought you were. Belle wants her piece of the pie just like I do, just like Bliss does nothing more and nothing less. Just like she tried to tell me I wasn’t really his son that night and we weren’t siblings, it’s all lies and games with her with all of them.” Zerick said shaking his head at her as she was quickly falling into whatever scheme Belle was playing with his father to push him out who knew maybe Lowell put her up to it to shake Jackie to stop the divorce. To make her feel like she was making the wrong decision by backing her mother about what happened about the proof in the DNA tests. “You’re quite the piece of work you know that here I was thinking you and I were on the same side but you’re still fucking loyal to him. After everything you’re still loyal to him.”
“So what if Forbes and Tess talked in private maybe they thought it was for the best for me so I didn’t have to hear about how your husband held my mother down and raped her. Maybe they thought I couldn’t handle hearing about it when I was a child. Tess had always liked to run her mouth to you to get a rile out of you and even now you’re letting her.” Zerick said picking up his wine and taking a look at his aunt’s face at the sadness that was there, the shame about his words but he didn’t care anymore. He had wanted to repair his relationship with her above all the rest of his family he felt the closest to his aunt and that was no ones fault but she had opened her arms to him. Took him under her wings and he thought that was what she was going to continue to do not question his mother’s rape again for the millionth time that she would actually believe the victim and what the evidence said. “Here I thought we were getting somewhere. I must have been mistaken you should leave. I will be on my best tomorrow to not ruin my brother’s wedding.” Zerick finished as he downed the glass of wine and went back to the door to open it for her to send her out.
Jackie looked at him as she took in his words and she did feel guilty and shameful as she was questioning everything about the story that she had been told especially given what Tess had said. Belle seemed to want to be in the thick of it with pissing off her siblings so why would she say something so off the wall to her and Zerick? An uneasy feeling overcame her though when Zerick walls had come back up after months of her tearing them down so they could be closer. Seeing him get so upset about it though she rose from the couch she didn’t come here to fight with him about it and maybe she was going crazy with the wedding coming up she simply wanted answers. He was clearly upset and her that she had asked and to keep the peace she made her way to the door looking at him. “Please tell me if you remember anything else and I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said quietly walking out the door seeing him simply nod at her as he closed the door.
She waited till she was on the other side till she let the tears fall out of her eyes and covered her mouth with her trembling hand what if she had pushed her nephew even further away in a simple moment trying to get clarity. Looking at her watch she wiped her eyes nodded to her security team and walked back to the elevator she could return to the party and plaster on a smile she had been doing it for over thirty years there was no reason to stop now.
Zerick wondered if he had been too harsh on his aunt as he closed the door behind her looking at his wine glass on the counter before he picked it up and smashed it against the wall in a fit of rage, Lowell Devonshire always fucked everything up in his life and now he had Belle doing his dirty work? The little bitch would tell him what the hell she was talking about one way or another and he’d set her straight that their mutual sperm donor was nothing more than rapist scum and there was no amount of twisting words around as facts when it came to DNA. His chest was heaving as he looked at the wine against the red wall, it reminded him of blood that was all over Lowell’s hands for what he had done to his mother all those years ago, Blood that was on his hands for Gideon and Rachel and the laced bottle that he had sent them, though Rachel was simply a casualty of the events that happened. He was made of darkness and he’d die in it too and that was the reason he was pulled to someone like Dru and had to let someone like Talia Rose go. Shaking his head he left it there on the wall as he picked up the phone to call Forbes the only man he felt like he could truly trust.
A droplet of water splashed on his face as he opened his swollen eyes looking around. Dried blood crusted around his mouth and his ribs felt like they were broken. Gia had her men beat him because he refused to make the call. She had threatened to kill him all night and read all his text messages from Max. She was sadistic and he wasn’t budging though because she’d always want more. He knew Gia and he also knew how she operated. When he first agreed to let her run through his vineyard in Spain to transport drugs from Europe to America it was a one time thing. Then it became every other shipment until every shipment was containing more drugs than bottle of wine. When they broke up he told her it was over he vowed to himself it was over. Now it was all catching up to him but as long as she didn’t go after Max he’d deal with the consequences of the sociopath that he thought he loved. Twisting his wrist trying to free his arms from the ropes he felt a sense of hopelessness. All he wanted was one time to see Max again. Closing his eyes he saw her. He saw his woman back in his arms and looking so happy that they were engaged. He opened his eyes and tears were burning in his eyes as the door swung open. He saw her standing there with a knife larger than her hand.
“Please do it because beating me isn’t going to get you anywhere. Slit my throat, kill me but I’m glad of one thing. I never loved you, it was danger and infatuation but Gia I never loved you. You are evil and nothing as evil as you can be loved. I hope you are enjoying this and you find some sick sense of pleasure out of it. Either way kill me because I don’t want anything to do with your drugs or you. You say that you’re happy with Ronan but does he know that you used to cry on my shoulder saying that you wanted him dead. How you hated that man? That isn’t love, it’s sick just as you are. You are evil and corrupt but I know one day you’ll pay for all you done.”
Gia looked at him tied to a chair blood dripping from his lips, his body bruised. It was so sad that it had come to this between them but she was in it for the long haul. The supply chain had to be kept in tact she’d brought the knife for shits and giggles it wasn’t her thing but to install a bit of fear into Sebastian that she would hurt his precious little Max if he didn’t cooperate was worth it and she nodded to Hector to close the door to the room. Sitting down across from him she played with the knife in her hand back and forth waving it in front of him as she did so, he used to be so handsome back when they were younger when she believed in the good of the world, until her first time with her now husband in their marriage bed, she had adjusted. Learned to play the game better than most men and was now feared for it, her father though that stung and Ronan would pay for it on her terms and only her terms when it came to revenge, she was going to make sure he didn’t see it coming. If that meant lying ot him, fucking him senesless while they were together and pretending with him, she’d done far more in the name of power and her family legacy. She leaned forward on the chair cutting off a few of the buttons with the knife just to look at his chest and placed her hand there over his hear seeing him recoil from her touch she slapped him.
“Oh my little Sebastian how you forget that I had this at one point or do you not remember that summer before I got married? You’d make love to me all night and most of the days we snuck around and now you want to pretend it was nothing? There was a reason I told my father to go to yours for the cocaine or did you think I would simply disappear from your life?” Gia spat looking at him and it did crush her part of her anyway but she was long past being a love struck girl had been since that day that Michael had killed her father in cold blood and she had watched in his hallway to his office. Her mother’s screams piercing her ears as the Madden men opened fire on the building and shielded her from the gunfire, in the end her father had died she had married the man she had just gotten rid of and had spent the next years of her life carefully crafting her revenge. “You and I could have made it work Sebastian yet you chose that Devonshire bitch over that. Don’t worry I haven’t hurt her yet, or her brother’s wedding though could you imagine the sea of red that I could bring to send a point to you and her if I wanted?” Gia said looking at him touching him again as she did so. “Tell me why? Why did you break my heart into what it is now?”
“Stop it. Don’t act like you had a heart in the beginning you used me to get your filthy drugs into America. I foolishly thought it was something between us but the truth of the matter Gia is you never loved me. You seem to think that I am supposed to accommodate your feelings but you could never open your heart enough to love me. You have a serious issue and I hate to tell you but revenge won’t fill the hole inside of your tainted heart. Nobody could fill the hole of daddy right? The man that was a mobster and a monster. You seem to think your father was some sort of amalgamation of a good person and a mobster. But the irony is that you can’t be a good person when you are a mobster. You are really sick if you think we could have made it. You married another man to gain power Gia. I almost could understand if you were in love but this was all about revenge.” Sebastian said as he looked at her. “I broke up with you because nothing would have satisfied you but a pound of flesh.” Shaking his head he felt his stomach tightening with he looked at her.
“You are miserable and it’s so sad to see such a beautiful woman full of hatred. You could have been my wife but you aren’t open. Nothing about you is open you’re a closed off mystery. But there is no mystery there Gia. You are a your father’s daughter just as heartless but no gumption. You use his legacy, your ex-husbands, me, and now Ronan. You will kill me before I push anymore of your drugs. I did my due diligence in loving someone who has nothing going for them. Keep Max out of this and I mean it. Kill me but I swear I’ll haunt you for the rest of my life if you touch a hair on Max’s head. She isn’t perfect but she isn’t you. She isn’t evil and she isn’t trying to force me into something that I said no to.” He leaned back. “Stab me, slit my throat, do your worst because I swear I’m done with drugs and the mob. No kill me or leave me the fuck alone. I don’t want to go down memory lane because honestly we don’t have that many good ones to start with in the first place.”
“I loved you in my own way Sebastian but what happened to my father changed me it should have changed you seeing how he killed your older sister too. How quickly you forget that he sent her into an early grave too, then again you have always been weak. That was always the problem with us that you were too weak to know what it would take. My father raised me to know what it took.” Gia said looking at him and it was the truth she could have loved him had none of it happened that summer had his family not been there when the shooting happened had her father and older sister not been taken from them so soon. Sebastian liked to pretend that part of his life wasn’t dark and that it didn’t bond them in their hate but she knew better the little front she had put on for Ronan was just that, a front. It meant that sooner or later he would have to face that part of his past and that ghost especially if he was so set on staying in Atlas Falls. “I remember her blood all over your hands while she died while he stood there realizing what his father had done and leaving to go back to him. I know my history Sebastian it is you that has forgotten.”
“I would kill you but that would mean too much pressure on me with the feds and well I can’t have that instead all I need is your little fingerprint. You see I can just fuck up your life with the touch and swipe of a few buttons on a phone. Max isn’t even that concerned that you are gone that should tell you everything you need to know about her.” Gia said look at him struggle as she pulled out the phone and her men forced his finger to open it and she began typing out another text to send to Max. That was amusing to her that Max seemed so carefree about it all and she had to wonder if Sebastian was ready for that the constant disappointment that a woman like Max Devonshrie would bring into his life, she was far too selfish to even worry that he was really gone for the festivities of her brother’s own wedding. “I could send it into red a new memory would be made all those innocent bodies covered in blood like your sister would be so fitting on the other hand seeing her give zero fucks about where you are is even better. She doesn’t care about you like that Seb even if you really do her, she’ll break your heart like she always does you do know that she fucked her teacher in high school right? Had an affair with a professor in college? Barely kept her legs closed while married to Hunter Kincaid and yet you think she’ll change for you?” She laughed at him seeing him look at her so sadly and she leaned in. “She’s just not that committed to you as you are her.”
“You don’t know that.” Sebastian said passionately as he looked at Gia. “You don’t know anything because you can’t see love or happiness. Sometimes I wish you knew how much I did love you. Maybe it would have changed something but I don’t forget Valeria. I will never forget my sister and you have some audacity to throw her death in my face. When it was your family that brought the blood to my doorstep. You had me waiting to see if we’d ever be together and I slipped into depression. You know what I find weak Gia? Someone who is taking revenge on someone son for something that their father did. I find that to be repulsive and honestly you are evil. You are evil and heartless and even if it’s true that I’m weak. I’ll die knowing that I stood up to you and that’s the best thing. You can cut my finger off you can do what you have to. But I swear if I escape I will not be subservient to you any longer. It’s over Gia and I told you that months ago.” He said as he looked at her.
“I know Max’s past Gia. I didn’t know yours and I didn’t know you were consumed with so much hate and rage. Tell me how am I supposed to feel right now? You keep saying that you loved me then let me go Gia. Let me be free because I love her. I do okay and I’m sorry that I can’t be what you need me to be anymore. You have someone and I have kept quiet on why you are here. From the moment I saw you earlier this year I’ve been silent. Does that mean nothing to you? Is there no loyalty in you? I kept quiet because I knew you were going to get revenge. I knew you were going to make sure Valeria was avenged. Please let me go and I’ll forget about all of this. I can’t do it anymore Gia. If I ever meant anything to you please let me go and be happy because right now I need Max. I need to be around people who make me feel safe.” Clearing his throat he stared into Gia’s eyes and saw his words were cutting her. It was like a peak of humanity shining through. “Gia if I ever meant anything to you let me go. This is insane you are with Ronan and I’m with Max. I don’t want to be apart of this. You keep saying I’m weak but you won’t let me go. Let me go Gia because we both know for a fact you can find someone to ship those drugs into the US. You are doing this to keep some sort of connection.”
Gia looked at him getting up from the chair to walk around the room wondering if he really knew everything about Max or not. Wondering if he could ever really love a woman like that and she clearly hadn’t told him everything. “Did you know she had an abortion? A sin in God’s eyes so powerful that I don’t even think he will ever forgive her for it. It was with the college professor, she married Hunter a few years later.” She looked at Seb’s crushed face as she spoke he was such a good Catholic boy when it came to everything to learn his new perfect little angel wasn’t so perfect was the ultimate thing that she could use and she waited to use it till the right moment. She was never that big into the faith that he was she made sure that she had rid her body as needed with her current monster of a husband making sure his seed never planted in her. She wanted to wait for the right man to do that with and she would in her own due time. “If I had to guess she was too selfish back then to have it just like she is too selfish now to give you everything that you really need, why Seb? Why do you cling to a woman like that so badly?”
“Ronan will pay for what he did to my father and your sister you mark my words as they are a bond when I say them. Max will break your heart into a million little fucking pieces and I can’t wait to see it happen. When that perfect little image of her fades from your eyes and you realize that you picked a woman that will always hurt you.” Gia said sadly as she took the knife out to his arm and sliced it just a bit seeing him scream out in pain she pulled the knife back looking at the blood on it. She thought about slitting his throat right then and there but didn’t have it in her heart too he had never talked to the feds when they sniffed around and had never sold her out when it came to the family business so she could honor that with him. He was still valuable. “Now I will ask you nicely again to make that call to your brother to start things back up again Sebastain I won’t ask you again before I start taking this knife and really making my marks on you. You’ll be begging to die by the end of it after you make the call and your precious Max will not save you.”
Sebastian screamed out in pain as he listened to her when she cut him. “You already broke my heart Gia! I have faith in her. Abortion or not God sees all and he sees you. You aren’t a good person Gia and I can’t do it. I can’t make that call and get my little brother in the sins that you have placed my life. La Bruja you are a witch and your evil won’t touch me anymore. If you must kill me because I won’t place my family in the mob. I won’t put them in danger so kill me Gia! Do it! Stab me! Slice my throat if you are going to do it then do it because the threats are old La Bruja. Do your worst to me.” Seb closed his eyes and began to pray. “ Dios te salve, Maria. Llena eres de gracia:El Seńor es contigo.Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús. Santa María, Madre de Dios,ruega por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.”
Dani wasn’t sure what was worse Jon’s speech the other night at the rehearsal dinner, Belle coming and being a little snot or Merci punching Whitney leading to a massive fight that she had to break up. Her best friend being consoled by Bliss and her fetching ice from behind the bar counter and a fresh towel in the back. On the other hand Talia was on cloud whatever she was on, Jackie had left quietly thanking her for coming, her mother and Miranda were dancing and entertaining the male strippers and it looked like her mother was about to peel off her bra or something weird. She walked over to Whitney handing her the ice before turning around and making her way back to the bar she deserved a third glass at this point and picking it up she almost jumped when she felt hands wrap around her from behind and almost tossed it back in whoever’s face it was thinking it was one of the men her mother had hired before seeing it was Jackson who was looking at her amused. Instead she caught it and took a long drink looking at him.
“Thank god you are here my mother is having way too much this with this whole stripper thing like I’m concerned her bra might come off or worse. Max and Bliss tag teamed Belle, I did too but she was talking about upstaging me tomorrow I played nice just like I said I would. Your mom and I talked I think she had fun tonight. Let’s see what else Natasha was here I still think she is maybe not. Merci punched Whitney over the MIles stuff, I got into it with her too she left. Talia’s pretty shit faced. Yasmine has been the only normal one tonight.” Dani said looking at him like he thought any of this was remotely funny. She just wanted a normal night some good friends some nice booze and massages, male strippers was not her idea of a fun time but they had put so much thought into it she didn’t have the heart to tell any of them no they all seemed to be having fun. “But now that you are you can enjoy a glass with me since no one else seems to appreciate it. You okay?” Dani asked sliding him a glass of bourbon and watching him look at her.
“It’s about to be midnight in another hour. New Year Eve’s I can’t see you until you walk down that aisle. So I wanted to come see you one last time before our wedding. No I’m not I have to pretend that I want to see my father’s face at our wedding. But I invited him already and I told him after tomorrow I’m done. I’m done with the Lowell Devonshire drama because I am so much more than that.” He looked around as he saw Hunter finding Bliss, Braden and Tamara, everyone else finding their respective mates. “Belle couldn’t upstage you if her life depended on it. I haven’t even seen your dress and I know that its nothing she could do to match your beauty. Although us Devonshire’s were a pretty lot.” He laughed as he looked at her. “Your um father and brother presented me with the Fraiser plate. I’m not even going to pretend to understand what’s the tradition but I’m going to keep it until Braden gets married to Tamara. You guys pass it every wedding huh?” Jackson asked, wondering what the story was. When he saw Lauren trying to convince his mother to ride a mechanical bull he shook his head. Talia was still dancing on top the bar dancing still. Yasmine was trying to get her down. Natasha was stewing in a corner and Chauncey looked irritated.
“I think we picked a hell of time to get married. I’m seriously thinking that this is the craziest wedding ever. You said Merci and Whitney got into a fight? Well my party wasn’t any better. My father chose tonight to have these horrible conversations with Rory, Chauncey, and myself. I completely disowned him so what are we going to do? We can still leave for Paris and get married. We can still do it.” He teased as he looked at her. “Dani I’m marrying you in front of Atlas Falls and I’m going to show them all we are a unit and we are completely happy. So whatever happened these last two days fuck it. Tomorrow is the day that counts you and I becoming one. I for one can’t wait for that day.”
Dani looked at him moving to him and sitting on his lap on the stool he was going through so much with his father and she wanted him to know she wasn’t going anywhere. She leaned back feeling him hold her and just closed her eyes for a few seconds blocking out the last few days before picking up her drink and taking another sip. “I’m really proud of you for standing up to him you know that right? That took a ton of courage and he needed to hear all of it and you are more than that. You’re your own person and there is nothing that he can do to change that and nothing you need to prove to him anymore.” She said looking at him before kissing him gently and pulling back seeing him grin at her she thought about the stupid plate. Honestly she didn’t know the full story she just remembered bits and pieces about it from her grandmother over the years. “If memory serves me right my great great grandfather gave it to his wife as part of his dowry offering or something like that, it’s supposed to be lucky. My grandmother at one point swears it is a good baby maker charm and financial one they got my father and his siblings plus the distillery out of it, it does seem to work for the record.” She said seeing him grin even wider and gently slapped him they agreed in a few years.
“For the record I wanted to get married when you got back from rehab at the courthouse before the twins even came it would have been a lot easier and less drama filled. But I think your mother and mine would have had our heads.” Dani said looking at him finally relax a little, which allowed her to relax too. She wondered if he really meant that, that Belle could never upstage her tomorrow Val had literally spent months on her dress every detail picked over to perfection and she turned in his lap so she could look at him swirling her drink in her hand before taking another sip, he always watched her and she couldn’t help the grin that came out. “I shouldn’t torture you so much about it should I?” She asked leaning in to kiss him again shivering when she felt him grip her and brush his fingers on her bare skin on her back, pulling back she look at him. “No I think I’m going to make you wait for tomorrow. As for tonight you really want to go back to that big old mansion to a room alone? It would be such a shame since we got a sitter for the night.” She asked softly trailing her fingers on his chin as she did so.
“It’s bad luck and do you really want to test our luck anymore? Considering our rehearsal dinner and our bachelor and bachelorette parties were eventful.” He teased as he looked at her. “My mother would kill me and you if I snuck out of that mansion to you tonight. Waiting builds anticipation and I’m all for building up that feeling. I can imagine the things I’m going to do to you as your husband. Although honestly we’ve been common law married for a while now. I can’t put my finger on it but I’m nervous for tomorrow. Not the wedding or marrying you all this fuss and frivolous shit. Is it us? I mean I love a lavish event like anyone else but God everything seems so large. I know my mom and your mom deserve this because they always wanted us together anyway. But I just can’t wait for this to be over so we can be normal again. It’s just nerve wracking considering so many people are going to be there and I don’t know half of the guest list.” He laughed as he kissed her hand.
“You are going home alone and I’m going home alone. Because tomorrow we will be on a tropical island and I’ll be making love to you all night long. Matter of fact I was thinking about taking the twins with us. I know um Hunter and Bliss offered to watch but I want them to see the world. I know they won’t remember this but they’ll appreciate they were with us on our honeymoon. Plus we could be making their sister or brother.” He teased knowing Dani would freak if she was pregnant again, the twins were a shock but he knew she wasn’t ready for more. “I know a few more years after I’m CEO. Yup I’m going to be CEO and the twins will be six or seven. We’ll have a little boy and name him Oliver but call him Ollie or something like that. JJ will absolutely resent him while Donovan will love him so much because he has a baby brother. Then um we will adopt a kid if we want another one. I want a house full of love and full of kids and full of laughter. Something I didn’t have growing up. I had every financial thing I could want but never the love from my father I promise you JJ, Donovan, Ollie and any other of our children will not know what we felt with our father’s.”
“No more kids for a while it’s why I had Ophelia get me on something as soon as she could and something better than the pills and the shots this way we can plan it just the way we wanted. As for taking the twins with us I don’t want to have Hunter or Bliss burdened with them, don’t get me wrong I don’t think that they’d think like that but I kinda want them to come is that weird? Atticus said they have a great nanny at the castle we could use until Dru can start and I don’t want to be away from them those two weeks.” Dani said she was serious about that with the honeymoon this was time for them but they were on a better schedule now too not to mention it would really give them time as a family without all the craziness the last few months. She looked at him when he talked about CEO she’d do everything in her power to make sure Lowell appointed him as CEO he deserved it and frankly he would be the best suited for the job in her mind. “I think we’re already doing a good job with loving them for being them. Also what in the world makes you think it will be a boy who knows maybe we’ll get double lucky again?”
Dani looked at him he was right they had been common law for almost two years well before from the moment he left and they got a joint bank account together and she became his emergency contact. Before they got his old penthouse put in her name and his. Hell he referred to her as his wife more times than her regular name and she’d been calling him husband right back, the only thing missing was a paper. She playfully glared this was such a stupid tradition in her mind but for one night she supposed she could suck it up for their mother’s wild ambitions with the wedding. She put on her best pouting face at the thought too. “For the record I hate sleeping alone who knows I may have to bring out a toy or two.” Dani said seeing him shoot her the nastiness glare he could and she almost laughed at him until she realized he was dead serious about it and it sent her heart racing and she felt her cheeks flush. He’d punish her so bad if she dared and for a moment she wanted to test him as she looked him dead in the eyes picking up her drink and finishing it. “You’d never know you know.”
“Don’t get in trouble tonight.” Jackson got up and took her off his lap. He said it in a way that was stern enough she would get it. If he couldn’t be there to watch her pleasure herself then she wouldn’t be pleasuring herself. “Shall we celebrate with one last dance? Before you leave as Ms. Frasier and wake up Mrs. Devonshire.” Extending his hand he took Dani’s and wrapped her up in his arms. He saw Hunter and he nodded at him. Glory Road was playing in the back ground as he spun her around. “I want to say to everyone here!” Jackson screamed looking at Dani. “I’m marrying this woman tomorrow!” He screamed looking at everyone as he kissed Dani.
Dani had wanted to make a smart ass comment to him but instead had to grin when he drug her out to the dance floor, if he only knew the torture he was in for tomorrow. He’d be regretting this stupid tradition then again watching him tomorrow on the honeymoon would be worth it. “Fine you win.” She managed to whisper in his hear when he spun her around and then leaned in to kiss her before kissing him back
Jon got off his motorcycle and felt his chest swelling with pride. He still could fix a bike and he still could ride. He remembered teaching Lucy when she turned sixteen and Brock and Braden had a fit. She however got all A’s and he remembered promising her that if she made the dean’s list he’d teach her. So many memories and friendships were now gone. It felt almost like he couldn’t forgive them but he couldn’t forget them either. As he walked in he didn’t want to attend the festivities and he wasn’t welcomed anymore. The light flaking of snow flickered on the road. He didn’t normally ride in winter but he needed to feel free. As he walked into Backwoods Bar he hadn’t been here since the night he met Skye. He’d always heard of her but when they met it was fire. She was ferocious and she had those bad highlights that all the girls wore in the early 2000’s. Skye had these eyes that were so piercing and he could remember having her right in the back room. Walking to the bar he ordered a beer and the music wasn’t loud but the humming of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash were echoing throughout different parts of the bar.
Jon rented a pool-stick and told them to send a pitcher to his table. As he walked to the pool table he approached it at the exact same time as a young woman. She had this dark hair, lips that said kiss me, and eyes that said danger. “I can wait if you’d like.” He said raising his hand looking at her. “I haven’t seen you before and I know everyone in this city. It’s my job to remember faces but I do think that I haven’t seen a face quite like yours.” Biting his bottom lip he looked at her seductively. “How about we play together. Pool is always a little more fun with someone else. So you down my name is Jon by the way. And who are you mysterious lady?”
Maggie Thorpe had the night off from Club XES and the mask she wore to put food on the table and she was going to enjoy it, ever since Carla had died and the business went under she had been forced to work at that shitty ass club. Then again sometimes it was worth it with the right client that paid the right price, it wasn’t the first time she had spread her legs for money or to suck someone off and it wouldn’t be the last. She worked a job just like anyone else in Atlas Falls and she was damn good at it enough to have some of the most powerful men in the state in her bed at one point including Lex and Ronan Madden. On her nights off instead of babysitting her little sister, she instead liked to travel to the outskirts of town past the Scottswood neighborhood to the little seedy dive bar she was in and press her luck when it came to a game of pool and to blow off some much needed non work related steam. So here she was on a friday night ready to let lose on the eve of a new year when she had went to the pool table and the man introduced himself in the flesh. She knew who he was Jon Harrison and she smiled at him, this was way to sweet for her to pass up knowing how much this guy irritated Lex back in the day.
She was willing to play along with him for the evening as a bit of twisted revenge as it were, he was that ghost oh so long long ago and she pouted her lips at him for good measure. Not to mention she had seen him at the club too while in costume hanging all over Cassie on a few of her shifts and to bag him well that would be another man she could claim. “Margaret you can call me M for short or anything else.” She said her hands rubbing the stick up and down slowly and sensually before walking to him and looking at his drink and picking it up to take a sip. Placing it back down as she looked at him tilting her head to the side as she nodded. “Sure we can play a few rounds if you want. We could wager if you’d like. Whoever sinks the eight ball first we go upstairs if you want.” She finished moving some of her hair off her shoulder to make sure that Jon saw the bare skin underneath as she looked up at him.
Jon looked at M and smirked, nodding his head at her stipulations. It wasn’t something he normally did. To be honest the last one night stand he had was Skye. Cassie could have been that but they kept going and screwing. Sitting back he couldn’t help but think about Cassie and how that relationship was ruined. He wanted a baby so badly with Cassie and she just wouldn’t do it because she was jealous that he already had a child. Not only that she was content with him never knowing. He knew that for a fact. How could he go from being so in love with someone to absolutely hating her now. He was certain that Cassie Montgomery was just as despicable as her father. “That’s a deal. But I think no matter what I want to go upstairs with you.” Her tanned skin, dark hair, and dark eyes was different from the warmness that he normally went for but something about her matched his mood. He was grimey and it was something wrong with this M girl. Anybody who named themselves an initial was always suspect. “Hell we can skip the game if you’d like and come back.” The bartender brought his pitcher of beer to him as he tipped her a twenty and saw her smile.
He poured them both a cup. “So M what is it you want to do?” Jon set the pool balls in the center of the table. As he aimed the white ball and hit it immediately sending two balls into different pockets. “So what do you wanted to do.” Handing her a drink as he placed his hands in her back pockets of her jeans. “You see I saw you eyeing me from the moment I walked into this club. It’s my job to be observant and I can say that I have a carnal urge to taste your body. You smell good and look even better M.” Leaning down he kissed her neck. “So tell me if you want to finish the game but I think we both know it’s going to end with our clothes off fucking all night. So we can skip the hangover with the bad beer and get right to the highlight of the night.”
Maggie was willing to play his game a bit longer but when he all but agreed to fuck her she had to laugh with him and his offer, this would be much easier than she ever imagined. If he only knew that she had the upper hand at the moment and the look on those fuck’s face if she ever told them would be worth it times ten. The way she had been simply discarded in Pittsburgh and reassigned to club XES was disrespectful to say the least, but they couldn’t very well let it be know that a call girl was Lex’s mistress’s. It had hurt her financially but then she had went to the club and met Yasmine and she almost thought about her revenge there her first night when Dani had walked in letting her know she was in town, only she had left with Jackson. Jon was the next best option for what she was after Lex couldn’t fucking stand him and had always been insecure about him taking Dani, when in fact he should have been worried about her and Charles paying her all that cash years ago. Instead she looked at the drink taking a sip as she watched Jon hit the balls and then come over to her and place his hands in her pockets.
She didn’t say anything else to him as he kissed her neck and she let him before taking his hand and dragging him up the stairs to the second level of the bar. Once they were in the seedy hallway she turned around and looked at him leaning up to kiss him letting her hands run over his shirt and down to his jeans as she stroked him while they kissed. She felt him growing at the action and bit his lip pulling back. “I think we can table talking for a bit don’t you? You know what I want? Your hard cock in my mouth right this very moment.” She said slowly undoing the buckle on his pants and popping the button open and feeling his cock fall in her hands as she grabbed it stroking him a few times seeing his eyes roll in the back of his head. She looked up at him before she slowly dropped to her knees grabbing the loops on his jeans and engulfing it in her mouth letting out a moan as she did so letting him hit the back of her throat as she began to move her head slowly engulfing him.
Jon growled as he looked at her slurping and slobbering on his dick. At first she didn’t push it all the way down her throat but the more she got into it the more his thick cock pushed down her throat. As he saw her getting more and more comfortable with this girth she began to swallow him as his cock disappeared. His hand ran through her dark hair as he wrapped his hand in her hair. Pushing her throat further down on the shaft of his penis. She wanted his cock he would give it to her. As he started to make her head bob intensely as he growled and moaned. As he began to face fuck her roughly as he saw her gagging slightly as he looked into her eyes. “Look at me.” He commanded as he thrusted his hips feverishly in and out of her mouth. The tightness around her lips as he drew his hips all the way back and then pushed all the way down her throat.
As he pulled out of her mouth and slapped it right on her face. Tracing her lips with his cock he smiled at her as he pushed his dick back down her throat. He felt like she was a professional at this and he didn’t want to bust his nut. Placing his hand underneath her chin he raised her from the floor. Grabbing her face he began to tongue kiss her enjoying the taste in her mouth. He pushed her against the wall. Rolling up her skirt and ripping her panties. Jon pulled them off of her and stuffed them in her mouth. “I don’t want hear the screaming. You want it?” Jon saw her nodding and pushed himself inside of her. Roughly pounding as he looked into her eyes. “You wanted me now show me.”
Maggie barely had time to react when he had thrust himself down her throat but she had welcomed it like the bad ass she was watching him look at her thrilled. Men paid her a lot of money to suck them off and she had repeat customers and the power that gave her thrilled her underneath her jean skirt. She welcomed each thrust and by the time he pulled out and slapped his hard cock over her face she was soaked through her panties eager for the next part the best part this was all for fun not pay. Making it ten times more thrilling when he touched her chin and she stood up and he slammed her into the wall. Her mouth roughly sought his out while his hands eagerly went to roll up her skirt and she watched as he took of her panties stuffing them in her mouth she could roll with it for now. By the end though she’d be screaming and he’d want to her her, she spread her legs eagerly as she watched him inch into her. Her head thrown back against the wall her back arching to welcome him she saw his eyes get wide as she worked her body to his. Her hands went into his pants grabbing his digging in her nails to haul his body into her engulfing him completely as she let out a scream into her panties.
She let her hips expand then close seeing him start to move and threw her head back for him letting him see her neck and the low cut shirt she was wearing and bralette underneath what was even better he didn’t even put on a condom. Lex had been the same she had tried to fucking hard to make him not wear one he was too much of a good son to actually tap her raw apparently he was only into that with Dani. There had been others too older others, but the man fucking her now was young and while not super well of the would do and provide that was the better part. A cop salary wasn’t a ton but it would do for a few years if she had too. She focused back in on the moment hearing him moan and groan before she dropped the panties from her mouth intentionally, she wanted him to hear her, hear the pleasure that he was giving her. “Uh…you feel so good Jon. How’s this baby?” Maggie said looking at him thrusting her hips into his arching her back to bring him in more seeing his eyes darken a good trick that she liked to use on men in her bed it kept them coming back. Her nails dug into his ass as she did it again her eyes looking at him wildly seeing that he was already hooked on what they were doing. “You’re holding back fuck me harder I can handle it.” She whispered against his ear bitting down on it feeling him shiver.
Jon wrapped his hand over her mouth and saw her looking into his eyes. He started to thrust as hard as possible. He could see her back arching and he could feel her tightening around him thrusting in and out. Cupping one of her tits he squeezed her nipples as he felt her body heat rising and her breathing was becoming more labored. Sticking his tongue in her mouth he kissed her as he continued to beat in her walls. She felt so wet, she wasn’t a good girl. She was nasty and he liked it. Jon leaned in and licked Maggie’s face seeing she was becoming so titillated by what he was doing. Grabbing her legs he wrapped them around him. Then walked a little bit fucking her furiously. As he slammed her into another doorway. This time he saw a couch and threw her on it. It was dusty and dirty no doubt this room hadn’t been used in a while.
When Jon pulled out he threw M on the couch and pushed her legs around his neck. He continued to thrust in and out of her to the point he felt her trembling in his arms. When Jon felt her leaking even more he knew it. Jon began to scream out as he busted a huge nut inside of M. He cupped his hand around her neck as he kept thrusting as he looked at her. Jon stood up and looked at M. “I have to go.” He stumbled back pulling up his pants shocked at himself for even doing that. “Are you on the pill? I just don’t think I can handle anymore stress.”
Maggie had been so involved in what they were doing and so thrilled by it as she watched Jon pound into her and she licked his hand over her mouth adding to the sensations of him fucking her. She had no idea why he was so worried about people hearing them a lot worse had happened in this hallway with her and other men. Other men with men, other women with men it’s kinda what the bar was known for to those on her side of the tracks. When he moved his hand and kissed her she eagerly kissed him back matching his thrusts as his hands went to her breasts and she moaned into his mouth at the action. He felt so good and hard and he was hitting all the right spots when he picked her up and slammed her into the wall she let out another moan at the action. By the time he threw her on the couch and adjusted her legs in the air she was close to climaxing. She closed her eyes rising her hips up to meet his and before she knew it she was shaking and trembling all over him and moaned as load as she could as she came playing with herself knowing he was watching. When she felt him come inside of her she had to hold in the scream of pleasure and satisfaction and she watched as he pulled out horrified at what they did and she grinned at him.
“Of course.” Maggie lied looking at him fumble to pull up his pants as she laid there her hips tilted up to make sure something happened. He didn’t need the truth that she was just as raw as he was, she wasn’t working for Carla anymore since she died and the only thing the club tested for was STD’s they weren’t too picky about birth control like that old bitch was. She moved finally rolling down her skirt as she looked at him walking to him and kissing his lips before pulling back. “You can always find me here on a night like this if you want another round. See ya around.” She finished pulling back as she looked at his shocked face as she strutted back down the stairs to the bar he’d be back after that.