2×27 “Luxuries of the Savages”

2×27 “Luxuries of the Savages”
Written by: Chris Coleman and Kelly Zollo
Guest Starring: Kofie Sirboe (Jayden Bradshaw), Taylor Kinney (Lex Hessington), Rachel Weiss (Kelly O’Connor)
Warning: Episode contains language, violence and sexual situations
Theme Song: Vaults- One Last Night

Belle walked around the carriage house in a pair of panties and University Of Atlas Falls sweater that was no doubt one of her siblings. She pulled her hair back and honestly just wanted to stay here for the night. She knew that she couldn’t because if Jackie found her she’d be kicked off the estate but did she really want to go home to her parental units? After her father declared Zerick wasn’t her brother and exposed his own brother. Did none of them understand how taxing that must have been for father? Tess was clearly pissed at her when she gave that little clue that Zerick wasn’t her father. Walking to the closet she found a pair of True Religion jeans, Balenciaga sneakers, and a Louis Vuittion duffle bag that had to be Max’s. It all screamed early aughts bad bitch, all she needed was the Ed Hardy douchey hat. She slipped them on and they were the same size which was a good sign. David had left a few moments ago after her pleading for them to get a room at the Crestwood. He said he had to go into the hospital and she wanted to roll her eyes. However he was the chief and hell she would look so damn good on his arm. Her driver was on it’s way and she just wanted to sneak off the grounds before Jackie had dobermans eat her alive. As she threw her dress in the bag she walked to the door picking up her purse and jumped back.

“David!” She said looking at him. “I thought you were gone to the hospital what are you doing back here?” Belle said looking at him. “I’m pleasantly surprised though. I wanted you to say all night under the fireplace with me but I guess. Wait, you said you had to go in and do all the paperwork.” She walked out the door closing it. “I think I’m on my way home but you’re back so I don’t know what is going on.”

David had snuck away while Belle fought with him about getting a room after their third or fourth round he wasn’t quite sure but he did need to clear his head and had listened to the voicemail on his phone. Natasha Hasan had been admitted to the hospital and operated on by Dr. Bradshaw someone he didn’t even know the board had went ahead and hired, everything was alright with the soon to be new Ms. Devonshire unfortunately she had lost her baby. He had rounded and then asked for a few weeks off noting that the hospital was in capable hands while he would be gone and with the internet readily available anywhere in the world he could still telehealth with Lowell for his checkups as needed and his other patients. He had driven over to his condo and packed a bag for two weeks and then booked a flight commercial to avoid the press and other shit that came with a vacation for himself and Belle. He had a lot of unused frequent flyer miles that he turned in for the tickets and thanks to knowing a good agent they he had the flight booked in an hour of course it was all dependent on her wanting to go, but perhaps she would want to get away too. He had been allowed back on the grounds informing security he had simply left his cellphone at the estate and made his way back to the guest house.

“I did run to the hospital to at least check on things though I think I would have preferred to stay here with you but I still had obligations up until I went in. Natasha Hassan was admitted I should let you know now that she suffered a miscarriage your nephew didn’t make it.” David said he honestly got that she was at odds with her siblings and this would likely be something that was news in a few days and he didn’t want her to learn about it on social media. He wanted to believe that Belle wasn’t that shallow and that she actually cared about her siblings even if they had a rough go and start of it. “I know that you don’t see eye to eye with them all the time and I know you were worried about Jackie but she is at the hospital at the moment with Max and Chauncey. I pulled a few strings and was actually thinking of maybe taking a last minute trip. I haven’t traveled anywhere in a few years but I feel I don’t actually have to stay here all the time. Work is going good I can remote with patients if I need and for my family I can step back. Do you have plans over the next few weeks?”

Belle heart dropped for Chauncey and Natasha. She was just talking to Natasha earlier in the night and she was so excited to be pregnant with Chauncey’s baby. As she began to blink her eyes hearing the news. She immediately pulled out her phone and sent a gift for Natasha and Chauncey. As she bit down on her lip she listened to David. Should she leave to visit Natasha? They bonded because they were outsiders. When he asked her if she had any plans over the next few weeks Belle shook her head. “Considering that I’ve dropped out of college to move to America with my family, I have nothing to do.” She said looking at him as she touched his chest. “Are you asking me to run off with you David? Because if you are, then the answer is yes. I need a holiday and this is the perfect idea. To get to spend time with you night and day.” She purred as she dropped the bag. She had credit cards. Why was she taking this dress? Hell why would she pack a damn thing? Shopping would be part of the fun. Leaning in she kissed David with a big smile on her face.

“Well I do think I need to go pack a little bag and change but I can buy a new wardrobe while we are wherever you are planning on taking us.” That’s when she bit her lip. “Somewhere warm I presume considering that we are in the cold. Tell me because I hate, waiting and trying to figure out. Hawaii, Fiji, Brazil, Africa, any island but Isla De Cruces. I have had quite the experience in that slum. Either way I just want to be in the place that I can make love to you and I can have fun. So where to David? Where are you taking me?” She clapped her hands excitedly then throwing her arms around him kissing him sensually. “Older men are the best you know how to truly romance and I’ll give you my body and best time of your life. Considering you haven’t been with a girl like me before. Come along we have so much to do!” Belle said giddily as she began to drag David by the hand. Her eyes casted down and saw a sparkle in the snow from the hanging lights still flickering over their heads. Stooping down she picked up a diamond ring. “Look what I found.”

David watched as she seemed genuinely upset at the news about Natasha’s tumble down the stairs and the loss of her nephew, it was a tragic situation no doubt and one that the Devonshire family didn’t need on top of everything else. He let out an easy grin when she said that she could come, art therapy was important but it was a volunteer position that could be easily filled and it wasn’t like he thought Belle needed the money from it. He embraced her in the kiss and his hands when to her waist she really was just what he needed at the moment. “I’ve wanted to have a break for a while from working at the hospital but it was never the right time with my brother getting killed and then I had to help Miranda with Quinn and my parents. But things are better now you know and the board says I’m okay to take the time if I need it and I want to take the time.” David said knowing that he probably wasn’t thinking totally clear on most of it but this was the first time that he had ever done anything so irrational but he wanted to take the chance at the very least. “Yeah we can spend time together as for where we are going it won’t be the ice cold of Isla Del Cruces it’s like winter there. I was thinking of somewhere warm and tropical.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of St. Lucia sandy beaches, perfect waves and the balmy at least over seventy degree weather should be at least up to par. I thought about traveling farther but if something does happen it is a shorter flight back to get to your father if needed.” David said he wasn’t sure why watching her pack was so amusing to him but it was. He had packed his bag but watching her debate about what to bring or if she was going to bring anything was amusing to say the least. He saw her tense up about Lowell but he wanted to be open with her, her father was still his patient under his care and that always came first when it came to what was going on between them. “Listen your dad he’s doing as well as can be expected right now I’m not saying that anything bad will happen but I figured it was better to be close by than not close by. I really want to spend more time with you and get to know you better and not just in bed, but really get to know you.” He smiled at her trying to focus on the upcoming trip but it was hard she really was amazing to look at and he also was trying to ignore the older men comment he wanted to treat her right and show her that for him it wasn’t just about the sex even if it was great. When she bent down and picked up the sparkling ring he looked at her. “Definitely not mine it’s for sure a wedding ring, odd.” He finished looking at her.

“Someone will miss it.” She said slipping it into her pocket. “Come along St. Lucia is waiting on me. I can imagine being on the beaches sipping drinks and talking to you for hours. You want to know me something plenty of people have said but nobody has actually done.” She could remember laying in bed with Atticus and him saying all those words. Then the tabloids got a hold of what she did. He didn’t want to get to know her then. Then it was Belle you need to go home and before she knew it her momma and poppa were in Isla De Cruces picking her up. As she blinked away the painful memories of the rags ripping her apart for a American. Not only that they treated her as if she was a whore when she was a virgin. As she took his hand she walked to his sports car. It was a Lamborghini Murcielago and she was slightly shocked David didn’t seem to have such bold taste but maybe it was something she needed to get to know about David.

“Well tell me what made you get a thirty hundred thousand dollar car.” Belle said as she looked at him. “My father’s condition is scary and most children would be sad right now but recently we’ve gotten to know each other. I got to see his heart and humanity and I hope my siblings get that chance. They were raised with him but they don’t see him. He isn’t the fearful tyrant everyone thinks. I see an old man dying and he needs unconditional love and I’ll give it. It is what I wanted to get to know him. It just sucks in a year or two or God knows how long he’ll be gone. My father is dying and I just got him. I have two dads and mothers I guess that’s what I should tell you about me. But I guess everyone knows that. Adopted by Tess cousins and now I’m the second bastard of Lowell and Tess. It’s quite salacious don’t you agree.” Smiling as David opened her car door up and she slid inside. “Can we have a deal? No talk of family.”

David looked over at her when they made the way to the car which was his current lease it wasn’t like he could actually afford it otherwise, he liked fast cars had for a while. Once he got Chief of Surgery and the salary that came with that at the hospital he was able to make his dreams come true. His parents had considered it something of an indulgence and he saw their concern but he wanted to live a bit dangerously, they were afraid the money and prestige would go to his head. He watched as Belle pocketed the ring she was probably right someone would want the ring back but for now Belle could take it. “Honestly I love fast cars and signed a lease on it for a year. No talk of family it is.” David said smiling at her before starting the car making sure his seat belt was in tact revving the engine and pulling out of the drive hopefully leaving Atlas falls behind for the both of them for a bit.

**********

Skye had stayed in the shadows at the wedding with help from Merci, she didn’t care to object to the wedding or anything like that and had actually excused herself to hide most of the party in the restrooms when Whitney, Ryan, Miles and Morgan had spotted her. She had successfully avoided running into Jon as well and she was so grateful for that everything was such a fucking mess at the moment, like why in the hell was she staying at his fucking place? Before the shitshow that was Philip’s speech was all over social media she had checked out of the party with a stolen champagne bottle and got her car, before heading back to her and Merci’s condo ok more so Merci’s condo just to make sure she had everything. She was going to go up to the condo pop the cork and drink till she couldn’t stand or see straight. She could barely look at Whitney and Ryan, let alone her son in the eye now for the chaos that she had reigned down on their life since Jon learned the truth. Jon fucking hated her or just wanted to fuck her as payback who in the hell knew anymore, he was a completely different person since Christmas and one she wasn’t sure she could be around. Getting out and grabbing the bottle she locked her car before getting in the elevator and watching as it went to their floor and then about dropped the bottle seeing Lex Hessington standing at the door like a hawk waiting to rid her from his family once again.

“Well, well sure didn’t take daddy long to send you now did it? How does it feel knowing that you’re simply here because you don’t live up to his expectations? Hell I’m surprised you didn’t stand up and object at the vows or were you even there? He must be so disappointed in you letting Dani just slip right on through to Jackson without even so much as a fight from you.” Skye spat inside she was quaking he wasn’t the type to fuck around with and she knew better, but she also wasn’t going to cower anymore either she wasn’t that whore that was paid to do Charles’s bidding anymore. Not to mention what was he going to do cause a scene here in the middle of the hallway assault her or worse, she dared him mentally to try it she was living with Jon and as much as she hated it at the moment not even Charles himself was dumb enough to fuck with her while she was there. Jon wanted his son and he at the moment offered her protection from the family in front of her. “Move and crawl back into that little hole that you had to dig yourself out of the last few years. You and I don’t have anything to say to each other.” Skye finished not amused when he just stood there and she glared at him.

“How does it feel to be nothing to everyone?” He spat back as he looked at Skye. “My father did send me Skye and you know why. You just seem to not listen at all. We told you to stay out of Atlas Falls, we told you never to tell Jon, and we gave you enough money not to look so cheap.” Lex said as he walked toward her. He touched a stray tendril of hair away from her face. “You think that Dani and I are over that’s endearing. It’s kind of like you thinking you’ll get a happy ending with the man you betrayed. You gave away Jon’s kid, do you think he’ll love you?” Lex studied her face. It was something that as a lawyer he was trained to do. He watched her shaking and the sheer hurt of his words was on her steeled face. “Don’t tell me you’re fucking him too? No fucking way such a whore but we know that now don’t we Skye. Or is it Angel? Isn’t that what you used to call yourself while on the street. I can’t think of one whore who turned into a Hollywood star. Are you still dreaming of being a thespian? I can tell you weren’t that good of a actress but you’ve always been my I always favored when you were slightly a lesbian but you and Merci don’t do that anymore right?” Looking in her eyes he smiled at her.

“Merci is working all the time now isn’t she? Never home? I’d hate for something to happen to her. I mean could you imagine. I can hear the news report that local party planner and ex-whore Merci Dubious is deader than doornail because Skye is a selfish bitch and won’t get Jon to back off. I’m going to wreck Jackson and Dani and get my woman back, adopt those Devonshire bastards and make them Hessington’s. You didn’t think we came here for nothing. Oh Skye we’re here to take DGI from the Devonshire’s and not only that I’m here to reclaim everything but we won’t lose Miles. So either get him off or Merci will be gone, hell Miranda, Quinn, and his parents will all be dead, your parents if they’re still alive. I know you hate your auntie but she’ll be dead. All of them will be dead and I’m going to torture you every fucking moment if you don’t get that cop off my sister’s back. Do you get it? We own you until the day you die you’ll be indebted to the Hessington’s.” Lex leaned against the wall. “Dani’s mine and you can be if you want. I’ll even give you five hundred for old time sake.”

Skye watched him her skin crawling and not in a good way in a way that frightened her, there was always darkness in the Hessington’s probably even worse than the Montgomery’s and Madden’s combined and Lex was nothing short on that. She almost wanted to laugh at him if only to piss him the fuck off he was delusional if he thought that Jackson was ever going to let his wife go then again Lex had always been dumb as hell most of the time and thought with his fucking dick over his head. “You did give me money but you all forgot one thing you wouldn’t have Miles if it was for me period end of story and you all owe me that or you know I could talk.  Ruin your sister’s perfect little picture marriage with Ryan, your father’s political career hell your career. You’re delusional if you really think Jackson Devonshire is going to lay over and let you take his wife and kids, not to mention Dani left your ass after round one. Where exactly is your little whore? You call me one but you were the one that daddy was paying someone to fuck.” Skye said looking at him daring him to hit her, he was so dumb half the time and she knew exactly how to push his buttons this time though she had Jon behind her. “Your own daddy hates you, Jon’s mad at me, big difference.”

She didn’t know if that was true or not when it came to her and Jon but he didn’t know that all he knew was that Jon knew the truth. Sure she slept with Ryan while she was in Pittsburgh and had foolishly believed at the time that he cared about her, but it was another lie she had been told. “How do you know I’m not recording you this time time Lex? Hallway cameras are always so handy then again you should know that you all creep in them when needed. Threaten me, touch me at this point I dare you, you see I have something I think you all fear Jon by my side at the moment. Atlas Falls’s most beloved war veteran and cop, you think I care about my reputation at the moment? It wouldn’t be anything new that this god forsaken city didn’t already gossip about but Jon? Let me paint it for you now. Hard working veteran returns home a mess sleeps with the wrong girl and gets her pregnant, girl gives up child, said man goes on to become one of best and good officers that Atlas Falls has ever had people whisper he’s on the way to becoming chief one day and the big and powerful Governor that claims to love the country and veterans he supports destroys him. I have two words for you with the shit show it would bring political suicide.” She waited a moment seeing him stew and simmer as she eyed him up and down. “I’ve upped my price I’m not bought anymore call your whore.”

“You think you’re so smart don’t you Skye.” Lex leaned on the walls. “I want them to see us together because when those men burst in your apartment I’m out here? Or should I kidnap Merci who is crying at her office right now about that horrible wedding? Oh Skye you think that you are in control.” Lex shaking his head as he smirked. “I’ve disappointed my father for so long that you think that I would fail? I’m here to warn you that I’m watching you. Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.” He sang laughing. “I have to say that I can see it now. Beloved war hero dies in a drunk driving accident. I’ll kill him and I know you love him. I’ll fucking kill Jon. You know how far my reach is and yet you keep saying sassy little remarks. I don’t threaten you, I make promises and I succeed at tearing you apart and devouring you until your nothing more. But you’re right I shouldn’t be doing this in the hallway. But if I were I wouldn’t go in there. You don’t know who I have waiting for you. I mean I was out here for hours bored. What could I have done in there or how could I get in? Or maybe you have a corrupt maintenance man who needed two hundred dollars. Skye get him off my sister’s back by laying on yours. Do what you’re good at honey fuck your way into some sort of happiness. Hell give him another kid I don’t care but he can’t have Miles.”

Lex snatched the champagne bottle from Skye’s hand. “You have no idea the lengths I’ll go to fucking rid the earth of a skanky whore like you. You know why you’ll never get a ring like Dani’s? She’s a class fucking act. She isn’t like you.” He tapped the bottle against the wall. “You know what I want to do right now to you? I don’t know if I should fuck you or kill you.” Lex laughed wildly until he stopped looking her directly in the eyes. Then turning and throwing the champagne bottle against the wall. “Do you think I’m playing? I want to snap your neck for telling him Miles is his son. I told you he should never find out didn’t I? Did I you fucking whore?” He screamed to the top of his lungs. “You think I care? You think I fucking care about cameras or these people?” Grabbing her instantly by her hair and looking her in her eyes. “I own you. We own you because what you have done to my sister is fucking criminal. You know you aren’t the innocent one so play that game with someone else. If Jon doesn’t fucking back off I’m going make his life and your miserable. Why? Because I’m a fucking Hessington.”

Skye knew that her resolve was quickly fading at every turn she spoke or mouthed off to him and she tried her best to stay calm but there was a coldness that passed over her when he had leaned in to snatch away the bottle. She felt her skin physically coil at the action and a chill run down her spine how long had he been outside her door? What if he wasn’t playing and he honestly had sent someone to her sister? What if the regular maintenance guy was in trouble and needed his payout to fuck with something in the condo? Her mind was swirling with the possibilities that he was suggesting and her eyes had teared up at his comment to lay on her back, it was the truth but it still stung. She did want to be happy was that such a fucking crime in this damn town? She knew it was a pipe dream at the moment with her and Jon, he was angry and had every right to be but she did what she thought was right for the first time in her life giving Miles parents that could care for him. For all  her hate for Lex and Charles she knew that Whitney was a good person that put blinders on to their bullshit, but she was a good mother to Miles and while her marriage to Ryan wasn’t perfect all that mattered was Miles was loved and cared for by both of them.

She glared at him about the ring part she and Merci had grown up knowing they weren’t wanted there was no secret there but hearing someone like him say it hurt. She would never have that cool exterior that someone like Dani did she would always be a loose cannon and that was what he meant, she didn’t have the breeding for domestic bliss she had come to accept that a long time ago, when he threw the champagne into the wall thought she let out a scream realizing he was right everything was crashing around her like a living nightmare. She didn’t have time to react when he had lunched forward and grabbed her by her hair and she let out a yelp at the action feeling her roots tug in his hand her knees almost buckling in fear perhaps she had pushed him too far. “Let me go please Lex just let me go.” Skye said the fear rising in her voice as she looked at him pleading with him they had been lovers a few nights grated he never had great bedside manner but she always thought deep down he at least had a heart maybe everything that happened had hardened him though. “Please I’ll do anything. He figured it out okay Forbes told Cassie and she started digging and then it just happened and I didn’t go out and blab it to him Lex, i swear.” Skye finished looking up at him tears streaming down her face it was the truth that had she had her way Jon would have been none the wiser.

Lex watched as she squirmed in his arms. “Leave town or you are dead do you hear me?” With all his might he threw her into the elevator. Seeing her body crumple onto the ground he stooped down looking at her in the eyes. “I hate to see you like this broken and defeated but I will not lose Miles. My father has given me free reign to do anything. I don’t want to hurt you and I don’t want to be like this but if you keep betraying what we’ve set in motion. Get him to understand that Miles isn’t his son but Ryan’s. Get him to see that we aren’t going to be one big happy family. It’s over he can’t have Miles, he belongs to the Hessington family.” As he helped her up Lex gave her that charming Hessington charm. “You are a beautiful woman and nobody wants to hurt you all I want you to remember is all the things you know about us. Our family is regretting multiple times we helped you but we are family still. How much Skye? How much to get you back on our team.”

Lex adjusted her. “Go to Jon’s home and fuck him senseless. I’m going to wire you the biggest amount we’ve ever given you. Five million get him to forget, have another baby Skye do whatever it takes but Miles is off limit. Go home because that’s where you are safe and loved.” Seeing her shiver. “I won’t deny I didn’t want to do this, that’s why I’m giving you this money you hear me? I also agree with your assessment of this being the Montgomery family doing and in this case I see an active declaration of war. My father will be so surprised you gave me enough tonight. Maybe if you’re good I’ll give you something you want again. I’m sorry I got so irrational and angry. I need you to do what you’re told. Five million dollars.” Lex walked to the elevator as he placed her on. “Good night.” Walking down the staircase of the building giving her enough time to leave and fear the soak over her.

Yasmine had been riding around since that horrible wedding and she couldn’t believe Rory and Khalil both left her. Looking in the mirror she felt so unlike herself. This stupid haircut, blonde hair, and somehow she forgot. She forgot who she was and somehow now she felt fake as fuck. As she wiped her eyes, determined to call Latazia for a dye job and try to get her look back. No more Yasmine Montgomery or Yasmine Kohl for once she just wanted to find Yasmine. Fuck Rory and fuck Khalil she was on a new path. A path to find herself a no man would ever define her or make her look like a whore again. Make her feel so worthless and talk to her as if she was beneath them. Not again. She began to cry as her car sped down the icy street. Turning on Cliff Road pulling behind a vintage Jaguar.

Tess had no idea what Lowell must have thought of her. She could only imagine what was next. He was going to throw her out of her own mansion. Or even worse tell her they were done. All the years of scheming and preparing would be for naught. That couldn’t be and Tess knew Pierre or no man would save her from Lowell’s wrath. Where would that leave Belle and Bliss in his will? Even worse, where did this leave her? She could hardly breathe as she looked down the gloomy road. Her stomach is full of bile and fear boiling up to the surface. She paused at the stop sign on Cliff Road. As she pulled a tissue hearing someone honking she turned the corner speeding away.

Simon had finished up the last minute things that Jackie had asked him to do when it came to cleaning up the last of Dimitri Kavanagh Ivan was of course sound asleep in the car by the way he was done. He wasn’t sure that he wanted  to wake him either he had been pretty ride or die tonight, he now knew secrets that he kept and would likely still be keeping to his grave. He wondered if that was what it would always be between them secrets and lies whether that was everything he would always do for the Devonshire’s or Ivan hiding his sexulaity. Was that the life that he wanted for himself long term or the type of a relationship that he wanted to have? He had been Mason’s secret for years on end and that always came back to the corners of his mind with Ivan. Even with all the warnings from his friends he deserved more than what he had with Mason, but a part of him was pulled to Ivan. Turning down the road he had to let out a small smile as Ivan had already changed the radio to play some sort of R&B station as he turned down Cliff Road noting the dense fog from the lake and the cold weather was staring to set in and decided to be safe to turn on his fog lights just in case.

Skye had stayed in the hallway numb to everything after Lex had smiled that charming ass Hessington smile an almost eerie warning that she was unsure of how it play out and she didn’t want to know. Instead she had simply not even bothered with a note to Merci or a text and pressed the down button on the elevator shaking on the way to the bottom floor where she found her car in the parking lot. She wiped at her eyes behind the steering wheel trying to steady herself to pull out of the parking garage on her way, she had Expedia pulled up on her phone ready to book a flight out of town as fast as she could she was not going to stay around to find out what Charles and Lex had planned for her. Turning onto the freeway she was just about to book the ticket when she saw the airport exit was blocked and she got off realizing she needed to say goodbye to Merci. Her sister deserved that much of everything that they had gone through she took a deep breath as the car suddenly jerked when she turned down Cliff Road to head to the Devonshire mansion where she hoped that Merci still was. Pulling over the the side of the road she was still shaking wondering what was going on as she got out of the car. The engine was fine no smoke she knew at least from Jon that much that it was still running and then she looked at the button and the flat tire in the back and groaned just what she fucking needed tonight he held up her phone trying to get a signal only to see nothing and stepped to the side of the road. Seeing lights headed towards her she waved her hands.

“Hey! Please help me my tire it’s flat!” Skye said not sure if the driver could hear her or not as she continued to wave her hands frantically into the headlights hoping to see them slowdown. Instead she could swear that she saw the car actually start to go faster and then before she could react she felt the hard cold metal hit her knees and she went flying past her own headlights and into the ditch in the side of the road. Her head ached and her body was shaking likely from shock as she looked at the shadowy figure step out of the car, she felt the back of her head was wet and her hand reached out. “Help me please.” Everything went black after that as she hoped the shadow called to report what had happened.

*********

Winters were so god awful in the upper part of the country and frankly she hated to be called away from the sunshine of Florida the reality was this was a risky trip for them all but she had to do what had to be done. Kevin was always right by her side as always he ran her security like a tight ship and walking down the halfway to the warehouse she saw Ronan’s men give her the side eye, as they should. As a friend of Ronan’s she didn’t like to be summoned anywhere let alone to the middle of the country where the FBI was running amok and out of bounds with Ronan and his entire organization. Thankfully they also had a legal business venture here to actually explain why she was in town and she cut her eyes at some of Gia’s men before leaning in to her right. “Find Gia’s right hand, he’s not here.” She said before she saw Kevin take out and repeat the orders to other associates. He had always been by her side stuck like glue since they were young, a life neither of them wanted to sign up for to begin with but one they were forced into. She eyed one of Ronan’s goons up at the door as it opened and she saw Ronan and Thor sitting there, Gia too and Vladmir Stravidis too.

“You all have a massive problem on your hands and one I frankly don’t like coming up from warm weather to deal with. How is it that the feds are in on every shipment between our organizations when none of you have been smart enough to actually pay someone on the inside? So let me start by talking to the feds and I know for a fact it is no one on my end. I would venture that Vlad is clean as well as much as we don’t see eye to eye.” Kelly said looking at them all and seeing Gia lean back in her chair almost as if she thought she was big enough to sit at the table and play the game now that her father was dead and her husband. She was a little to relaxed for her taste and frankly she didn’t trust the viper as far as she could throw her based on everything that Raven had told her, as much as she disliked unloyalty in the case of Raven going behind Ronan’s back to let her know of her suspicions was warranted. “You have an informant somewhere and if my information is correct you have a much bigger problem than that on your hands.” She looked up at Kevin who handed her the pictures from her briefcase tossing them across the table seeing Thor look at the very much alive Agent Rhodes in the picture, someone that was a threat to all of them at the moment. “Would one of you care to explain how that is possible? I thought you put a bullet in him after letting him become best friends with yourself and Thor.”

Thor’s eyes were locked in on that damn board. He couldn’t believe it. It was the first time he saw how the daring the FBI could be. The transformed a hometown hero into a man who infiltrated the Madden faction. As he picked up the picture of KC or Nico as he used to be called. It was crazy to find out the man who protected him for years was a fucking FBI agent. It was the first time he saw a hit taken out. His brother ordered the hit and Ronan took him along to see. That broke him the disloyalty and out right betrayal that Nico no KC Rhodes, brother to David Rhodes, husband to officer Miranda Harrison Rhodes, and father to Quinn Rhodes. He knew all about him and if he was alive, he’d do something painful to him. He’d hurt him like he hurt his family. You see the feds really were the ones who sent his father to an early grave. They always wanted to get their hands on what was his. No fucking way was Ronan going to let them nor was he. He truly wanted out and that was no doubt but if they were under siege he’d leave and make sure Ronan had more power than he knew what to do with. Thor’s mind was racing giving him his mother agency and stake in the international escorting service. He’d be rich and his brother would pay but there was no way in hell he’d let a fed take them down.

“This is impossible.” Thor said looking at Ronan. “God he must have been fished out somehow.” He mumbled as he stared into his brother’s blank eyes. “They are coming for us all and the best way to do this right now is disband. We can’t be together. We can’t be the cartel and our business is done for now. Not only that but we need to silence any loose threads? Someone snitching and since you know all this care to say who Kevin found out is doing that? I don’t think this adding Gia thing needs to even be discussed at this moment with all that’s in front of us. We have to figure out how to protect each and every one of you. I’ve promised and I will promise this is handled. Right brother?” Thor said shifting the weight of the room to Ronan.

Ronan hated that they called this meeting but it also had to be done. Someone was all over their shipments. There had been a ton of attacks on products and routes. Not to mention that someone had openly shot at the mansion causing chaos and destruction and that had followed them to the safehouse where his brother had been shot as well. Whoever it was had terrorized him, Thor and Gia, though Thor wanted to paint Gia as part of it and dismissed those claims, she had been attacked too and in the heat of the moment was clearly upset about what happened. It still bothered him though enough that he had asked Raven to arrange a meeting between them with Vladmir and Kelly meaning one of them had to know what was going on and why. One of them had to know what was going on and if they didn’t then that meant that they were clean. He looked over at Gia to his right trying to read her expression when she looked at him, did she know what was going on with this? Surely if she knew that the KC Rhodes also known as Nico was alive she would have said something. Him being alive and not dead though sent him into a darkness and a coldness he hadn’t felt since his father had died. If he was alive that meant that everyone in this room was in danger but him the most, he could have turned state evidence for them of crimes that he knew he had committed. It meant that he was in danger of losing everything Kendrick had assured him that he was dead, that he had personally seen the body sink to the bottom of the lake it had been a few years so why now? He had so many answers but right now he was focused on them all getting out of the warehouse and laying low for a while, he shot Thor a look threatening Kelly would do no good if Kevin said the information was good it was good, he owed them his life when Kendrick went on his power trip and he was almost taken out in lockup.

“I put bullets in him he fell into the lake which was supposed to take care of this, Kendrick assured me he had watched him drown. He is dead this simply isn’t possible. Unless he has a look a like twin running around I put five bullets in him no one could have survived that. But if he did and it look like that it is the case then this meeting is effectively over.” Ronan said looking at his old friend and Vladmire in the corner smiling like a cat that was going to play with a dead mouse for hours and then over at Gia who was eerily calm. He looked over at his brother wanting him to know now was not the time for his and Gia’s bullshit when it came to them all meeting in a room with two other leaders, he saw the door open and Hector walk in, he had Thor. Vlad had his muscle and Kelly had hers, he wasn’t about to tell Gia that she couldn’t have hers. “Good Hector is here now that we are all here I want to hear from you. Kelly is saying that someone is messing with our shipments and she seems to think that someone in this room has something to do with that. My past has come up to bite us and while it could be true that he is alive and he is the one causing us all the problems. I would like to point out that an attempt was made on my life, yours and Thor was shot so if you know anything and I mean anything now is the time to speak up and say something.”

Gia lowered her shoulders as she looked at Hector with her sullen eyes staring at Thor, Kevin, Kelly, and Ronan. As she strolled to her future husband with a steel reserve and a sleekness that was oftentimes reserved for someone she was going to strike. “This is all I’ve been waiting for and I have to say this wasn’t how I expected this to go down. In front of three of the cartel and I’m afraid that we won’t be able to join forces. I do know that if we all don’t get a chance to thrive if Ronan goes under. I hate to say the obvious but Nico or KC knew all about the cartel which means you two are just as buried. Kelly I hate to say it but wouldn’t you two have the most to gain from killing Ronan and Thor? Their silence means that you two are surviving this FBI attack that is surely on the shore. We all know how they are and they’ve been cocky lately. So I suggest we table talk about me joining and figuring out how we can stop KC if he’s alive no?” Gia said slithering out of the question without ever even answering the questions.

Hector winked at Gia as she folded her arms as a baton of bullets began to reign over the warehouse. Then she heard them. A booming voice of federal agents started screaming as bullets pierced right through her shoulder and she flew into a crate. She could see Ronan charging for her and she screamed perfectly one cue as a bullet ripped through his pathetic fucking carcass. Did the feds think that it wasn’t another sniper on the roof? Agent Loomis was dead for their carelessness and they’d have to inform a mother and child their husband wasn’t coming home. As she crawled to Ronan she knew she had to put on the act seeing the goons shooting with the feds. They had an easy exit to get away. “No!” She screamed out loud looking at Ronan. She had to make it convincing Thor didn’t trust her and after this she needed him to. She needed him to believe that his brother’s girlfriend loved him. So that her hands were clean. Blood poured from her shoulder as she touched Ronan and kissed his lips getting blood on his cheek. “Ronan baby talk to me.” Holding his brother’s leaking wound.

Thor could see some of the Scottswood boys making a path for him as Hulk and Nasir quickly scooped Ronan up and began running him to the back. Vladmire people had bodies and so did Kelly few people. He saw Kevin shooting everyone in sight to protect her and Ronan. He would send his appreciation.but for now all he could do is snatch Gia off the ground. Seeing her screaming and nearly dying herself, for Ronan she could tell she was distraught. That was a twisted love and he didn’t like her but he didn’t like seeing the bitch mourn his brother. As he rushed to the back entrance of the warehouse where he saw Vlad, Kelly, and now his brother being ushered off. Thor got in the backseat with Hulk, Nasir, Gia and Hector. “Get us to the fucking hospital now Nasir!”

Ronan looked around the room and had been willing to listen to Gia’s explanation and frankly it made sense for the most part. Vladmire for sure had the most to gain with him being dead but his friendship with the O’Connor’s went back to his father’s days and they had remained at peace and friendly over the years. They were not enemies and he wasn’t going to make her one now and he saw Thor giving her the side eye and looked at his brother. He went ahead and made his way to start to walk around the table when the shots rang out into the building and he saw bullets flying around the room and then he heard the shouts and the screams of what he assumed was the feds. Meaning that something was amiss and he had a feeling it very much had to do with the very much what appeared to be alive KC Rhodes or Nico as he was called on the streets. He saw the bullet pierce Gia and then he saw Kevin dive for Kelly as the bullet flew. Vlad was sampering off and he made the decision to move from the table towards Gia and Hector ignoring Thor’s calls for him to stay still, he wasn’t just going to leave her.

He moved from the table drawing his gun and trying his best to stand up shielded only he felt the ripping metal rip through his ribcage and he cried out in pain, hearing Gia scream and Thor as well before he dropped to the ground. He felt the pain radiating through his body as he heard the screams and scrambles of various people trying to get to one another and he saw Gia crawl her way over with Thor and he was relieved that his little brother didn’t have a scratch on him. His entire body felt like it was on fire and not in a good way, he felt Gia kiss his lips and returned the gesture seeing Thor look at him with disgust and almost rolled his eyes. Instead he yelped out in pain when one of the guards Nasir took off his own belt and wrapped it around his shoulder and he looked down he was gushing blood everywhere. “You heard Thor get us the fuck out of here and to the hosptial.” Ronan managed to get out as he felt Nasir and Thor dragging him to the door and out the side and to the waiting limo in the back. He was so lightheaded as he looked up at Thor and Gia looking at him, Thor looked scared out of his mind and Gia looked he shook his head concerned she looked concerned too. “You have to promise me Thor if anything happens you’ll look after Gia she has no one.” He managed to say as Nasir poured some vodka on the wound and barked orders to the driver to step on it.

Thor sat silent. Once again they were almost dead and Gia was here. Ever since she arrived it had been one turbulent day after another. Now all of the sudden he was supposed to take care of the bitch. If his brother died he’d take care of her and Hector. He’d make sure they’d never hurt anyone else because honestly he believed this was her doing. Thor couldn’t prove it and Thor didn’t know how but this was Gia doing and he would prove it to Ronan. He put pressure on his brother’s wound and watched him grimace at the pain. “You stayed by my side the entire time I was shot I won’t allow you to die or go anywhere. I’ll never have to look out for Gia because you are here. You are going to be here with me. I know this is a bad time Ronan, I’m selling my shares and everything to the business to you. You can have it all, this isn’t me anymore bro and I promise you. I promise you that you’re going to make it.” Thor said as they sped down the icy streets praying that his brother did survive.

*********

Jackie had been about ready to change out of her gown and turn in for the evening when Max had called her to inform her that Sebastian was staying overnight in the hospital for observation the entire thing seemed crazy. Apparently Sebastian had been kidnapped and held hostage by a former lover and associate her daughter refused to get into more details. Despite Max telling her that she didn’t need to come down instead she had changed out of the gown and something less sheek for a visit. She had her driver take her to the hospital in the early morning hours of the day she wouldn’t be getting much sleep anyways but felt that despite her daughter protesting she needed to be there for her and Sebastian, that poor man. Once she had arrived she went to the waiting room where she saw Max on her phone in the lobby and went to her daughter wrapping her in her arms. Max had been brave earlier when she told her about Dimitri and she knew that she had left the party for Sebastian and she saw the worry in her eyes.

“Dimitri will not be bothering this family again. You missed quite the reception but you have to tell me what in the world is going on with Sebastian how does a winemaker end up kidnapped and in the hospital? I thought he was going to be in Spain for that emergency with his brother?” Jackie asked as she saw the nurses going into the room and from the small glimpse that she got Sebastian looked beat up at best and she had to wonder what was going on with him and Max. It was so unlike Max to be with someone so rouge she didn’t count Philip or her lack of judgement in that matter when it came to her affair or fling with him over the last few years. Philip was of course caught up in the entire mess with Ronan Madden but she never felt like Max was in danger due to that connection, however in this case it looked like Sebastian had unsavory friends and she wasn’t sure she or Max were really ready for that if that was the case. “You just bolted from the reception Max of course you did the right thing by telling me about what happened with Bliss and Dimitri but I had no idea where you ran off to until you texted me that you were here at the hospital with Sebastian.” Jackie said looking at her daughter and hoping that she would tell her what was going on.

Max had taken the advice from police officers and KC Rhodes and had taken Sebastian directly to the hospital as instructed for a full exam. A team of nurses had swarmed them and they met Jayden Bradshaw the emergency room doctor on call who had asked her so many questions her head was spinning. Sebastian was defensive about everything that had happened he was refusing to say who had taken him and how he had gotten so beat up. She tried to press him to talk about it and eventually realized he wasn’t going to budge and she had to wonder why and then she knew that if he talked it was probably more dangerous for them and him. Gia was demented and obessive over him but in her line of work and business, she realized that if he talked to anyone including his doctor but especially the police it was bad news for both of them. His life would be in danger and by extensions hers and her entire family and she was sure that Sebastian didn’t want to do that with them. Eventually she would have to tell him that had to wash his hands of that side of his life period, DGI couldn’t be at risk like that hell her father going in on the casino with Ronan was bad enough but he had been running cocaine for Gia for years. That would ruin DGI if that ever came out and surely a deal could be made with Gia and by extension Ronan and well if a deal couldn’t be made Simon had his ways and she was sure that he could come through for them.

“I don’t know mom he got involved with some people but I think we’re past that now and he is okay that is what I am happy about please don’t press this on him he’s already been through so much the last week. I know that you are worried about him mom and so was I but he’s here now and Sebastian would never put me in danger or any of you.” Max said looking at her mother and hoping that was at least the end of it when it came to Sebastian and his condition. When her mother pressed her eyes on her though she knew that she needed to tell her at least something and it wasn’t like her mother would open up her mouth ad blab to the cops or the press about what happened. “Listen mom he was involved with some bad people people in the line of work that Ronan is, he’s going to try and put that to the side now and I really think that he is going to do that. I can’t tell you all the specifics mom just trust me on this he’s done with whatever he was involved in for our family and us. As for Dimitri I know that you probably handled it and I’m glad, relieved for whatever you did and whatever you may of had Simon help with. I need you to tell me that if I need I can count on Simon to help Sebastian out of this mess he is in if he can’t get out on his own.” Max said and she saw her mother nod and the nurses step out of the room and she saw Sebastian looking at them. Taking her mother’s hand she entered the room seeing Sebastian looking at them with a smile and she almost laughed only he would be smiling. “Look who came to visit you.” She said beaming at him.

Taking a bite of the frozen ice he smiled when he saw Jackie enter his room. His heart felt swollen at the flavor. He thought that he’d never tasted frozen ice again. He thought he was dead and for once he was free of Gia and the past. She wasn’t going to be able to blackmail him or attack him if he shut her down. “Bella.” He said, looking Jackie as he sat up. “I don’t want you to get alarmed. Sometimes Ms. Devonshire the past comes back to haunt you. I was young and heartbroken once and I fell for a dangerous woman. You know sometimes a woman can wrap you around their finger so intensely that it’ll change your world and that’s what Gia Falcone did for me. She was a mystery and she was also troubled. She brought danger into my life and I almost lost my life but it has made me see that your daughter who somehow found me in my time of need. She is the most amazing woman I’ve ever loved and I can’t love anyone else. I can’t be with anyone else because Max you’re the love of my life.” He said feeling happiness for being alive and Sebastian felt even more that he had a family right now. “We are family. Thank-you for coming to see me but I can assure you my future wife and your daughter will not be in any more of my mess. This is the last time you see this pretty face look like this.”

Sebastian saw Chauncey walking outside of this room. “Mi Amor you didn’t have to call in your family.” He said looking at his brother. “Chauncey come in, your mother and sister are here. Come inside.” He could tell that something was seriously wrong and the fact that the man looked like a sixteen wheeler truck ran him over. “I heard the wedding was beautiful, a little dramatic but beautiful. But I’m alive, no need to look sad and the couple they made it out of Atlas Falls without a hitch married with the bambinos.” Sebastian was shocked when he witnessed Chauncey collapse in Max and Jackie’s arms. “Brother are you alright?” He looked at them unsure if it was something he said.

Chauncey had been so lost for the last few hours he had went in to see Natasha who was still asleep from her surgery. He had also made the call to her father and had assured him that in his delicate condition the trip over to the states was not worth the health risk to his immune system he had no idea that Sebastian was even in the hospital till he had walked by. Maddie was his other thought but he wanted to tell her what happened in person not over the phone. He had thought about who he could call from his family but all of it seemed so selfish Bliss was dealing with the truth of Steven with Hunter. Max had disappeared from the wedding. Belle was practically an outsider and not someone he would lean on anyway. Rory was dealing with a pregnant Aspen and what happened with Yasmine. Jackson was with Dani and the twins headed to his honeymoon and calling him seemed like such a low point even for him. Instead he had almost went to call his mother and wander the halls when he had walked by and Sebastian spoke to him. He didn’t know why he stepped into the room when Sebastian had begun to talk to him but eh did and then he reached for his mother before the swelling of tears became too much and he let out everything that he had been feeling.

“Someone was at the top of the stairs in the wing Natasha had went up to get off her feet for a bit the food was making her stomach upset. It was after the party was winding down and the lights were off. Brock and Greer claimed to have found her at the bottom of the stairs. I think someone pushed her down those stairs.” Chauncey said looking at his mother and his sister’s horrified faces, he then looked at Sebastian’s who looked pained as well and they were all waiting for him to explain more and he wiped at his eyes. Knowing how much of a blow this was for him, Natasha and the rest of the family, granted it was to have an heir and compete with Jackson and the twins but he did love that baby in his own way and he knew Natasha did too. “It was pretty bad Brock did CPR there was a lot fo blood, the baby didn’t make it. She’s resting now they had to relieve some swelling on her brain with surgery and the doctor assured me she would make a full recovery from her injuries.” He said still wiping at his eyes and then looking at them all. “It was a boy.” His voice was hoarse when he said it and he saw his mother look at him in horror and sadness as she covered her mouth.

Jackie hadn’t been able to ask more of Max when they had entered the room it was something that she wanted to know about but she was happy to wait out the answers as well. She was actually impressed that Sebastian was upfront in his own way about what had happened and it relaxed her even more he truly really did love her daughter enough to admit his past mistakes and even take some of hers as well. She supposed that was the difference between Max’s past relationships they all thought they could control her, Sebastian was different and understood her daughter. She had almost went to say something only for Sebastian to point out that Chauncey was outside his room. Her son looked so upset almost like he had the few days after they had lost Logan and Maddie was in the hospital after she was born. She had immediately enveloped him in her arms as best he could he was crying which Chancey never did he a had a bit when Lowell was in the hospital but that was the extent recently. When he pulled back and said what he did she felt the blood drain from her face in horror and anguish, poor Natasha and her son. Who would push a pregnant woman down the stairs and it was also a painful reminder of what a nightmare evening it had been.

“My God. You should have let me know your father and I would have been here with you. Have you contacted her father? Maddie? I know she wasn’t excited about the baby originally Chauncey but she has been so good with Fox and the twins. Natasha must be just as devastated as you are. Do you think Greer pushed her?” Jackie asked her mind was racing a mile a minute as she felt her own tears forming she was absolutely horrified for her son and Natasha, yes miscarriages happen but they certainly didn’t naturally come like this. This was malicious and felt so personal she and Greer had words before and it was well known that Greer and Natasha didn’t get along. Plus Greer’s father had been hell bent on revenge he made that clear and so did she was she that upset over her son moving on she went ahead and took matters into her own hands pushing Natasha down the stairs and killing her grandson in the womb. “I’m sorry to accuse her but everyone saw her and Natasha get into it. I can’t imagine what you are both going through or feeling I am so sorry.” Jackie finished looking over at Max who looked just as terrified and upset as she was.

Max looked at her mother she had waited for Sebastian to explain everything to her mother and felt herself at least relax and beam at him when he did, he didn’t lie about what happened. Even if in his own odd way he couldn’t tell the full truth about what happened he did honest what he could so much of her past lovers she had to lie about or were lying to others so this was turning point. Looking over at him she had went to his side of the bed and took his hand in her own wanting her mother to know that this was her choice no one else’s and despite what happened she really wanted to try to make this work with Sebastian. They could figure out the Gia and Ronan shit as needed, she had went to tell him just that and reassure her mother when Chauncey had appeared. Her brother had looked like a literal truck had run over him or worse their childhood dog and she had watched as he simply collapsed in her arms and her mothers. She wasn’t the most nurturing person so she did the best she could until he was ready to talk and when he did she felt her heart sinking because what he said was horrible. She wan’t Natasha’s biggest fan and had accused her of actually trying to trap her brother and now she felt like a bitch for it. It was absolutely horrible what happened and the fact that Chauncey thought someone pushed her was even worse. It was like bad luck was following this day around with everyone in her family and she held back her tears, she was absolutely devastated for her brother.

“I am so sorry Chauncey really that is fucking awful I know we don’t have the best relationship but I would never want that for you or Natasha. You should pull the security footage at the estate even with the lights off maybe they can see something.” Max said horrified at the news and she wanted her brother to know that she had his back at the moment anything that he or Natasha needed she would help with. She wasn’t sure how nurturing she could be but even if it was helping the security team help find out who killed her nephew she would do that. Hell if it meant warming up to the woman that she was still wary of she would do it, because really no one should go through what she was going to go through alone and whether she liked it or not Natasha was going to be her other sister in law. “I mean it anything you guys need I am here to help. I was just about to tell mom and Sebastian some news but I really don’t want to be insensitive to you or Natasha.” Max finished she at least wanted Sebastian to know why she had been so off lately she still hadn’t taken a test but she wasn’t stupid she knew the symptoms well enough she had just wanted to pretend they didn’t exist in some ways she still did but his kidnapping happened and she wanted him to know it was a possibility.

Sebastian saw Chauncey’s face and got out of bed. Throwing the covers off of him he looked at the man and walked to him and clutched his shoulder. “This is a devastating loss.” He almost cried with the man because losing a seed is a piece of your very own mortality living in the world. When he heard Max it was as if he wasn’t listening then he heard her. He didn’t want to scream but he nearly cheered as he looked at Chauncey hurt face and saw Jackie’s warm smile. “God will bless you Chauncey. I truly believe that. Natasha and you haven’t faced this for nothing.” Turning to Max he fell to his knees and kissed her belly. “Hello little one you are loved so much. I would have never knew.” Sebastian felt insensitive and elated all at once. Seeing Chauncey happiness and sadness was painstaking as he heard someone clearing their throat at the door.

“Mr. Navarro we are running constant vitals over you. You have multiple rib broken, you need surgery on your shoulder, and I am under assumption that the extreme dehydration is from being held prisoner but since you won’t comply with the authorities, I ask that you comply with the hospital rules because it’s clearly you’ve been through a trauma. I refuse to allow you to be any more damaged here so back in the bed.” Jayden could tell his bedside manner had rubbed the older woman the wrong way. He wasn’t here to be friends with anyone. He was here to make sure that these patients were taken care of. A beep of his cell phone alerted him that more patients had arrived at the ER. Once he assisted Sebastian back in bed with an nursing assistant help, Jayden looked at Chauncey, Max, and Jackie. They must have been Devonshire’s one of St. Christopher’s top donating families. “See you in a few moments.”

*********

Lowell used his cane more than he had all year. He knew he was pushing his body beyond its point of any good. As he looked at a few of the officers he raised his hand to Talia. As he walked to her with Julian O’Sullivan standing with her. He gritted his teeth as he looked at his old assistant and wanted to wring her neck. Out of all lawyers in Atlas Falls she called him. Narrowing his eyes at her he approached the two of them and looked at her. “Tell me you’ve figured out a way to get him out. My brother will unfortunately make a full recovery. I just got word that he just survived surgery however he’ll be dealing with interpol and local authorities in a few different states. If I can I would like to speak to Zerick. I’m sure I’m the last person he’d want to see but Talia I need to talk to him and I know that you can make that happen. You’ve always been the most persuasive person I know. You are emotionally invested in my family because I look at you as a daughter. You never turned your back on me and for that it will be rewarded, Talia. But I need one last favor my dear and if you can oblige me. Both of you Julian, I see you are here and I think that Jackie would be pleased with that. Knowing you are here.” He said with a certain tone that couldn’t be called anything but jealousy. Their dance was more than he could manage and thinking of Julian being the man that will be giving her life and making her happy when he was gone. It ate at him.

Talia looked at Lowell and her heart sank because he was so frail. He didn’t have that glimmer in his eyes that he used to. It was mischief as her mother would call it and just seeing him like this was literally like seeing a man disappear before her. She smiled brightly because even though his body was gone his silver tongue wasn’t. He charmed her instantly as he always had. She nodded her head if that’s what he wanted but Zerick hadn’t seen any of them but Julian and she was refusing to leave until she saw him. He wasn’t going to rot in a jail cell that was for sure because if she had to do whatever she had to she would protect him. “Julian was just informing me before you arrived that he’s agreed to speak to me. So I’ll get him to talk to you now for old time sake.” Winking at Lowell she walked to him and touched his face. “You have something to make up for with so many people. Please do that as soon as possible boss.” Talia saw Miranda signalling her to come to the room that Zerick was being held in. She turned to Julian and smiled. “Thank-you for what you are doing.” Talia walked down the hall and into Zerick’s interrogation room.

Julian looked at Lowell as he gritted his teeth seeing the man whose eyes were dark. Death seemed all over him. He was competing with a dying man which was making him a loser. He felt bad but it isn’t right how he had hurt Jackie. He’d broken a beautiful woman and to be fair it would take time to repair her heart but he was up for the job. He’d wait because he remembered who her children never got to see. The vibrant, sexy, and vivacious woman underneath the pain and disguise of faux pas happiness. She was told that she should be with Lowell but from Bliss birth she should have been done. “I am here for Zerick and Jackie because I think your brother is a serial rapist and a monster. More than anything I’m here to help fix the mess that you have brought upon a wonderful woman’s life. That child in there that little boy crying out for help needs someone in his corner and I intend to help get him off. Not that you thought about Zerick at all. That boy deserved a better break than you as an uncle and Linus as a father. I just hope he doesn’t believe he’s as rotten as you and your brother if you don’t excuse me I’m going to talk to Miranda about the arrest and a few other things” Julian began to walk away.

“Jackie will never get over me. I am the love of her life and no matter what you will never replace me.” Lowell spat at Julian.

Julian turned around smiling. “I wouldn’t think of replacing you Lowell. You see, Mr. Devonshire you never knew what you had in Jackie. I wouldn’t dare think of stepping in your shoes. If I have a chance with Jacqueline Davis I won’t fuck it up like you did. Good day.” Julian said as he walked to Miranda.

Lowell walked to one of the hard plastic chairs and slowly sat down as he looked at Julian. One of his children would object to Mr. O’Sullivan he’d ensure it. It wouldn’t be so easy to move in on Jackie alive or dead she was his forever more. Jackson thought his little dominant streak was his alone. He got it from somewhere and Lowell wouldn’t let Julian be Jackie’s white knight. Then it hit him he was about to wage war for Jackie and she was done with him. He didn’t know what to do, honestly because after all his dirt didn’t she deserve a standup man? Julian seemed like that but he didn’t have to like it at all.

Talia touched Zerick’s hands as she pulled the chair closer to the table. “Okay I need you too hear me out someone else wants a few moments of your time. I’m not asking you to talk to him like you’re talking to me. Zerick, Julian O’Sullivan is the best of the best but this person is paying for Julian’s time. Zerick I know that you’ve depleted all your funds. Pierre was funding your little revenge scheme on the last of your money. Don’t ask me how I know this but you are a Devonshire and I need to actually talk to you about something. You have stock in DGI due to your birthright and you will be also getting an inheritance for your father. Zerick before you turn down all this money and these things I need you to talk to someone.” Talia knew him well enough to know he wouldn’t want shit from Linus but she thought Lowell would help.

Zerick had been sitting in county lock up, not the worst place he had ever been since Miranda Harrison and dragged him into the station, his shirt still covered in a blood stain from Linus Devonshire. He would do it all over again if he had to and he wouldn’t miss the vital organs this time and the only reason he did was his stupid cousin. Linus deserved to be buried six feet under in the cold ground with not even a coffin around him and when they had asked if he wanted to call anyone he had stared stoically at the wall. He was not going to call a lawyer he had done what he did and there were no regrets about it, he had every intention of shooting him when he had shown up with the gun no plea of insanity would help that. He was actually proud of it and had tried to not show too much when Talia had run from the mansion towards the police car while he was loaded in. In truth he was drawn to Talia, but he knew deep down that he was too dark for her and she wasn’t quite the match for him. When he was told he had visitors he had scoffed until they had drugged him down to the room in handcuffs the steel digging into his skin coldly as he took a seat. When she sat down in front of him he was forced to listen and wanted to laugh maniacally in her face.

“What are you doing here Talia? Shouldn’t you be off with your new doctor friend?” Zerick asked he was good at this part in his life pushing women away and for now this wasn’t going to be any different. He and Greer were accomplices and friends, he cared about his aunt and at one point did really want a future with Talia, but that was before she exposed who he was, and he would hurt her again he knew that. It was who he was and honestly he felt the only woman he had been with recently that really got that was Ms. Price. “Maybe I don’t want my tainted legacy that everyone seems to think that I have been after all this time when all I have ever wanted was for them to admit what they did to my mother. One lied for his brother and let me believe in this lie for years and the other still when faced with the truth wanted to write it off as consensual. Fine if I have to talk to him to rid him from my life like my cousins have all seemed to do then so be it. As for a lawyer tell my aunt it’s not necessary, I would have killed him period end of story and if that doesn’t send you running for the hills it should, Talia.” Zerick finished looking at her and their hands before pulling them back from her.

“Look I’m here because I care and you can pretend to be tough but prison has a way of softening even the hardest individuals.” Talia barked back as she reached over. “I’m here because I still love you and we were in love once before. You make my heart skip a beat and the doctor doesn’t so I refuse to let you just go to jail and be erased from the Devonshire family and your legacy.” She said forcefully seeing that Zerick didn’t seem so amused at the moment at how she came back at him. “You said you were going to hurt me. That you didn’t want to hurt me and I didn’t want to deal with the lies. That wasn’t the truth. I didn’t want to deal with love Zerick. I didn’t want to face the fact that I love you and I was with David because he was easy. He was easy and he was normal but you are special to me. You are someone I need in my life. Now if it’s a friend or lover I don’t care but Zerick you won’t be going to jail for shooting Linus and you won’t be just erasing me from your life because you feel like it. You think that Jackie sent Julian? He came on his own regard and he is confident he can get you off now. I’m not telling him to leave because even if you did do it and have no sympathy their is no reason you should be in jail and that rapist is free because you snapped in one moment.” Leaning in she touched Zerick’s cheek.

“If you are willing I want this warts and all the ugliness. I want the drama and the confusion and the constant ride of being with you Zerick.” She said hoping he’d listen to her. “Now we will discuss your defense in a little but I think you need to see Lowell okay? Just hear him out and see what he has to say.” Talia leaned in as she looked in his eyes. “Friend or lover I’m here Zerick and I just want you to know I won’t be leaving you. Nor will your cousins, they are determined for you to survive this without going to jail.” She grabbed her purse walking around to him. She kissed his cheek. “Stop it, just accept the help.” Talia walked out of the room and nodded at Lowell to enter.

Walking slowly to the room he could smell the bleach and cleaning products. Shaking his head he saw the young man before him. His eyes were haunting just like Linus. It had a darkness that he didn’t recognize in his family. Camilla didn’t have it and neither did he but he saw it all over Zerick. Secrets that even Linus didn’t know were manifesting. Zerick shooting his own father was really history repeating itself just not his family history. Walking in he pulled back the seat and sat down. “I can imagine what you think of me. I truly can think of the awful words that you have stored inside that you are ready to spew. I just feel like I should inform you that no matter what you won’t be going to jail. I will pay every judge, every lawyer, and every juror an obscene amount of money to secure your freedom. Zerick I failed you and you are my nephew because contrary to what you believe you are important to me. Linus was also once and I failed him so please go to London. Meet your siblings, they are amazing kids and I know you don’t have any reason to respect or accept what I am trying. I promise you Zerick, I would have rather you shot me than your father. I just want to apologize to you and let me tell you I will give you what you deserve. You just have to come from the other side. Jackie will not let you leave and nor will my kids. While I denied you they never did. They might not have liked you but they understood. You deserve to know the truth Zerick why I would take those awful claims but whatever Julian is asking you to do I need you to promise me that you will, do it. Get out of here because you are needed with Jackie and DGI. You will do what they can’t. I know you will because you already love her like a mother. She is incandescent and she is sane. You love your mother but I know a broken boy. You shot Linus in front of over fifty people. Witnesses and if that doesn’t scream a mental break then what does? If you want the truth I’ll give it to you but once I tell you I need your word Zerick. I need you to help the boys with DGI.” The truth of Zerick’s past was wrapped up in the history that went back to his and Forbes fathers. Years of hate was deep but Lowell knew that he betrayed the Fraisers but the Montgomery’s were never supposed to be a part of this. There was more to this story and promises that haunt him would send him no doubt to hell.

“Now I won’t watch you fall, do you understand me? Zerick I know your mother’s breaks from reality and all of what happened to her falls squarely on my shoulders. I am not innocent because I knew but I couldn’t break a promise so if you want the truth I’ll tell you why you are needed to help me finish what I started and destroy Forbes Montgomery and Tess Blisston for their willful manipulation of your mother? Now I’m offering you something Jackie nor anyone a deal. A deal to deceive Tess and destroy Forbes who you now know is the snake I’ve already knew he was. He knew and strang you along like his little puppet, a perfect marionette doll doing Forbes bidding. Taking down your own blood ironic how venomous you were to me now use that against them because you were nothing but a weapon. A living and breathing weapon to them both. Jackie is getting everything but Tess will think she is. Now help me hurt them and bury them before I’m buried.” Lowell said looking in Zerick eyes seeing his shock. “Now what do you want to do? Rot or rise again?”

“What I think of you? I think you’re a coward that protected a man that raped women and then proclaimed to be amazing. I think that you’re a failure as a parent, as a husband hell as a CEO at this point to let rot into his company and keep it there to fester. I don’t need your help uncle on both sides I guess I can make my own way. But sure let’s just say that I play your little game here what will you do? Make up more lies about how noble the man that sired me was? How great he was and is, how I need to forgive him to move forward you should have seen it him confronting me outside the wedding, Jackson acting like I needed to spare him after everything he did, it was sad actually.” Zerick said looking at his uncle while hate in his eyes, he was so angry at everyone when it came to what his life was like Forbes and Lowell were interchangeable at this point in his life. They all wanted him to do their bidding Forbes with his endless revenge on the Devonshire’s and DGI and Lowell begging for him to take a piece of the pie and help his board of bratty ass cousins there now. The only decent one was his aunt, everyone else seemed to want to tell him how to feel or what to do but her. “Begging me to help your precious sons at least they treated me like I existed along my aunt you on the other hand couldn’t be bothered not even now, still secrets and lies I’ve had my fill of them over my lifetime don’t you think?” He wasn’t completely stupid and he really didn’t want to spend time in jail but he wanted Lowell tor eally understand and really understand how far everything had pushed him in his life.

When he finally admitted that part of the reason his mother was the way she was because of him he did soften towards him, it was the first time Lowell had taken ownership of it. He had taken his aunt at her word that she truly didn’t know and Jackie had been by his side in all of it since that trip she took to see his mother, her sister and he simply nodded his head at Lowell. “You protected a monster instead of the girl that looked up to you and was your wife’s little sister and I hope one day you answer to God for that, that you have your reckoning with him for that. You could have helped her and me, instead you didn’t you let her believe it was you, you let Forbes twist me and turn me into a knots. Jackie at least had the decency to try and track me down you just left me to rot.” Zerick said and he hated that he felt so defeated in that moment when it came to everything it was all so overwhelming who was he anymore. He clearly wasn’t Lowell’s son thanks to what he covered up, he was the son of a rapist, the father figure he looked up to had lied to him his entire life. The woman that claimed to be best friends with his mother was another snake in the grass he knew that she could have told the truth too. “I don’t care about your newest secret Lowell. I want Forbes and that bitch you’ve shacked up with over my aunt to pay. You’re senile and even two children that she gave you can’t possibly mean you believe the latest twist in her saga. So I’ll do it, I’ll hel you at DGI for my aunt and my mother but not for you. You see I don’t owe you anything and I don’t want anything from you after this.”

“You’re your own man but you aren’t dumb Zerick. No more secrets but I have a letter and when you’re ready to read it. It’ll tell you everything. I’m responsible but I’m a victim too. I kept it all going and now my life is ruined because of it. Not just your father but other things. I let you fall Zerick and it’s my greatest failure as a human and a man. I hate it. Nothing can make up for it because I am a bad father, husband, leader, but I need you. Your cousins need you. Hell Jackie needs you because Zerick we aren’t the heroes of the story we are truly the villains who masquerade as the heroes. We wear disguises but the things Chauncey won’t do you will. The things Jackson wouldn’t think of you can. Rory isn’t going to stay at the company and I don’t think Belle is the least bit interested in her family’s legacy. Max and Bliss on the other hand will thrive and rise as irreplaceable forces in DGI if they are groomed by the right people further. You see you know the right people, you are the man to keep DGI on task. Jail won’t be long just do as I say and you’ll be out before you blink.” Lowell looked at him and reached over as he touched Zerick’s hand.

“You think I didn’t see you? I saw you. Out of all my children you were the one who reminded me of the Devonshire’s I was raised with. My father and uncle were legendary and forced each other to be better. You are a mirror I can’t stop looking at. You tell me how horrible I am as a father? Well this is a chance to show my children that their father loves them. This is my shot and I will help you avenge your mother. I didn’t protect her now but I can protect her son. Give him what he needs to survive. You say you want nothing of your legacy but Zerick I think you out of all of the children deserve it. Now you can hate me but know one thing my boy you are a Devonshire. Through and through and no matter what you even believe you are ours. Your cousins will appreciate you and I do already. You forced me out of DGI and made sure that the next generation had its time in the sun. So how can I argue?”

Listening to Lowell drown on about DGI honestly annoyed him but he also thought that his uncle was trying to make amends and maybe that was his own fucked up way of doing it, as for the letter he’d throw that shit in the trash the moment he got it. He wasn’t going to be played any longer he could make his own choices that went for DGI, hit aunt and the women in his life. Dru was so much like him hell it was like looking in a mirror in a way she was still keeping secrets from him which was a challenge and that was a far more pleasurable one to deal with than whatever his uncle would write in that letter. “You aren’t the victim here Lowell don’t try that angle with me, I’m a victim but my mother is the biggest victim. Hell your children are my aunt is but you are not the victim in this story you went along with it. I would love to tell you to go to hell but frankly my aunt needs me I could care less about any of my cousins at the moment but my aunt never asked for this lie in her life either and it would kill her if I were to disappear from her life but I think you already know that.” Zerick said staring at him as he pulled his hand back from his uncle just like he had Talia earlier if he went to jail he really did believe that it would crush his aunt.

“The only solace that I have now in my life is that she knows who you really are at this point and isn’t your doormat anymore, you crushed her over and over again but no this time. I’ll do what you are asking but let me make this clear it isn’t for you. It’s for me and my mother and my aunt, it has nothing to do with you.” Zerick finished as he looked at his uncle who looked partly crushed or was it relieved it was hard to tell in the face of a man who had lost everything. Or he looked near death one of the two he didn’t care which at this point but the satisfaction he got looking at him across the way from him was something else now. “I want you to know that had your son not jumped in there would be rivers of red blood on those steps of the mansion, I would have killed the man that helped make me and never blinked he comes near me again I may finish the job so if you can live with that than by all means let me back out into society and the company.” He said looking at Lowell in the eyes and wanting him to know what he was getting into. He wasn’t in the mood to play games anymore and he never wanted to see Linus again that was his deal the man stayed away preferably in a prison cell or six feet under either way was fine with him.

“I’m pretty sure Linus won’t ever come near you cowards never truly does. I apologize to you and will repay you with everything I can Zerick, that’s a promise.” Lowell stood up and leaned down. “If you have any doubts in me I will erase them. You will be free my boy.” As he knocked on the door the guard opened the door. “I’ve failed Chauncey in teaching how to lead, I lost Jackson with my thoughtless love, Max doesn’t believe she’s special, Bliss is heartbroken that I’m not a good person, Rory my beloved baby boy hates me, and I have Belle who doesn’t know how horrible I truly am. I can make them proud with your help.” Lowell walked out with a renewed sense of purpose.

Zerick had watched his uncle go even now the man was all about trying to mend too many broken fences at once that he wasn’t sure he could keep up. His uncle was dying no one doubted that now or really or really had considered that it was ear the end. He did though and up until earlier in the evening he had no qualms about that he actually relished in the idea of his death. He looked out over the cold and sterile room as the guard came in to lead him back down to lockup taking note of the various conversations around him the biggest being that he wouldn’t even be spending the night in jail. He supposed he had Talia, his aunt and Julian to thank for that, and as much as he wanted to admit it his uncle too. Honestly though he was going to miss the coldness of the four walls of a cell and his own thoughts, because returning to the real world still meant that he was Linus Devonshire and Katie Davis son that was born into darkness that he would never flee from.

*********

KC walked in the hospital and could immediately see people gawking at him. Coming back from the dead was going to be more complex than he thought. As he looked over at Diego, Zach, and Miranda. As he walked up to his wife. As he folded his arms looking at her. “I survived.” He touched her face. “He’s up there in surgery or just waking up. I just feel like that was a mess. An assassin killed one of the agents, the bullets alerted all of them and our raid was ruined. I’m frustrated because now he’s shot. We are going to still charge him if he survives the surgery. I’ve gotten word that Kelly will be arrested when she lands in Cape Kenitrich and Vladmir is being raided as we speak. We are about to take down one of the biggest crime syndicates in the world. This will make the world better for Quinn and Miles and everyone. The drugs that they sell to the dealers in Scottswood. We are cutting the drug supply in the country down by half. This is my legacy to Atlas Falls stopping the biggest drug dealer on the east coast.” He touched her hair and looked at her cherry cheeks. “I know I’m not supposed to gloat but I can’t help it.”

He looked at Miranda touching her cheek as he smiled at her excited that he was finally able to be with her. The world was able to know that he was alive. Not only that they’d know that he took down the biggest mobster and one of the last original irish mob families, Richard “Hollywood” Madden dynasty with his flagrant and irresponsible son. The great Ronan Madden was about to be arrested the moment he was awoken and he was going to be the one to do it. “I know we’ve identified Apollo Stavridis. Vladimir Stavridis son was murdered tonight we are going to have bloodshed is coming. Let’s watch them cannibalize each other . Fear and betrayal is what they all revert to and I know Atlas Falls isn’t safe because this happened.”

Lex held Skye in his arms as he looked around. “Can someone help me! I found her on the road run over. Help!” Lex said feeling extremely guilty after all he had done earlier. She was plowed down on the road. “Can someone help me!” Lex screamed as he rushed down the hallway. “Someone hit her and left her.”

Miranda had been in a few raids in her lifetime but the one they just came from was filled with mad chaos that she hadn’t ever really witnesses so many departments shooting left and right not to mention the bullets. They had all been in tactile gear when they went in, so she was protected but it didn’t mean her anxiety was any less when it came to KC because he was still her husband and well she had already lost him to a hail of bullets shot by Ronan Madden or so she had thought and believed for years. Instead she had stayed close to Zach her partner as the raid happened not breaking ranks knowing that Jon and Devin were doing the same, avoiding the hail of gunfire around them and getting a few of Ronan’s men in the process. She kept her mind focused on what this meant it meant, it meant that Ronan would be off the streets and that Quinn could grow up in a city that was free from violence and drugs hopefully. When they got word that Ronan was in surgery and KC’s revival was made public they had all went to the hospital awaiting word on if that asshole survived his surgery or not. She got what KC was saying and she hoped Ronan lived to see a trial date and even better the inside of a prison cell for the rest of his life.

“I think we’re all allowed to gloat at this point given what Ronan and his father have put this city through over the last fifty years. I want to see him locked the hell up, at this point I would say any one of us want that when it comes to Ronan or any of the others there is no shame in that.” Miranda said looking at him and then at all the stares that they were getting when it came to him being alive it was something that she would have to get used to now that he was officially back from the dead the stares and the looks people in Atlas Falls had rallied around her and Quinn when she moved home. His official gravesite was in the cemetery and hundreds of people had lined the streets to honor him so to see him alive was certainly a shock and she remembered the FBI had warned them people could be angry at them as well because of it something that when the FBI did a press conference later that day they had assured her and KC that they would let their legal team handle all the questions about it. She had went to say something else when she saw Lex rush in the doors with a bloody Skye in his arms and she did a double take looking at him while some nurses scrambled forward and some new doctor she never met rushed forward. “What happened to her?” She managed to get out knowing that she wasn’t Skye’s biggest fan but she did at least owe it to both her and Jon to try and repair their relationship.

“I was coming to see her actually but I found her.” Lex said with ease looking at Skye’s ragged body she looked absolutely dead. As the nurses began to take her from his arms he covered his mouth. “If she dies. I. I. I. I’ve never seen death so up close she was crying for Miles. She was crying for Jon and that was too much for me. Look I know you might not regard me in the highest caliber due to my part in Miles adoption. But Skye was my lover and damn sure my friend. I don’t want to see her like this. I feel like I’m going to be ill, I didn’t get to see my mother before she died. This is too much.” Lex said standing back refusing to implicate himself. He’d now transformed into the hero and it was easy. Right now he had to concentrate on showing he was the savior in this situation. “Skye didn’t deserve this.”

KC watched them wheel Skye into the room as he listened to a obviously distraught Lex. “Calm down Lex, where did you find her at?” He asked as he looked at him. The guy was shaking he was clearly distraught and it seemed like it was nothing they all could do but pray. “Where did you find her.”

“Outside of Merci condo the ones on Cliff Road.” Lex said instantly looking at KC, Miranda, and seeing Jon looking lost outside of her room.

“Wait Cliff Road is one of the busiest streets in Atlas Falls. You mean to tell me someone mowed her down and nobody saw anything. No witnesses? Miranda, I need you and Zach to head to the crime scene and call it in. I want that place secured. This could be a hit on Skye because of her affiliation with Thor. I want security in her hospital room, Lex did you see anyones car you could recognize or anything else?”

“I wish I could be some help I just saw the tailend of the accident. It was a black SUV.” Lex looked at Jon and smirked to himself. “I just want to get home, is it possible I can go and you all come and speak with me tomorrow.” Lex asked as he looked at KC and Miranda.

Miranda looked at Lex his story made sense it was such a busy road to the lake and the upper rich estates that were there. Merci was at the wedding and likewise was still there cleaning up she had seen Lex at the wedding too so it could mean that he was passing by and swathe tail end of it. She and Whitney had put in a good front as maid of honor and bridesmaid but she still found the Hessington’s snobbish and not her type of people. It wasn’t her place Dani was her best friend when they were younger it was also her day. Despite everything with Miles her wedding was not the best place for drama between her and Whitney or Jon and Skye. Not to mention she had seen Lex’s crushed face at the ceremony watching as Dani married Jackson jealousy and what she was sure she had seen as anger too. It served him right and when be revealed that he had been Skye’s lover she shook her head at him glancing over at her brother.

“Sure we can look at the security footage to see which way she left from the condos for a lawyer you’d think you could give us a better description other than black SUV do you know how many of those are in Atlas Falls? I find it interesting seeing how you’ve always hated my brother for how he felt about Dani you ripped his child away from him and manipulated Skye’s emotions to give your sister a baby. You changed my best friend your whole fucking family did I didn’t even recognize her while she was with you.” Miranda finally said looking at him she felt awful that Dani had gotten burned with Lex but she barely recognized Dani when she was around the Hessington’s. She saw KC looking at her and she was going to let Lex have it he could claim none of it was personal but it was to her and Jon. “Everyone keeps saying none of it was personal bullshit you could have found any other woman to give Whitney a baby. You know Jon had been fucking Skye it wasn’t a secret. I mean you had to of known seeing how the bitch you were fucking crawled in the same circles. By the way how is the skank?” Miranda said looking at KC’s mouth open and she knew Jon was listening. “I’m surprised you didn’t object at the vows or bring the bitch. You know who you owe an apology too Jon and Skye but I won’t hold my breath for one.”

“KC welcome back from the grave but I used to love how you put a muzzle on your ravenous bitch of a wife. I saw a black SUV and I didn’t get the license plates or anything of that nature because I was far to concerned with the woman that nearly bled out in my car. You know the truth is I could have gotten another woman but why? The baby was sitting there with a unfit junkie for a mother and a PTSD freak soldier for a dad so I gave Miles the home he needed. In fact you should be grateful that he has us in his life not the Harrison’s. Your family wouldn’t know what to do with such a special child. I mean look how they ruined you and Jon.” With that Lex looked at KC who was smirking and before he knew it the man fist was into his jaw. Lex flew down the ground and immediately jumped up charging at KC but Devin stopped him. “You’ve lost your mind you broke nothings. If you ever touch me again you’ll really end up six feet under. That isn’t a threat it’s a promise. As I said a bitch will be a bitch, a junkie will be a junkie and a failure officer will always be just that a failure. I told Skye but let me inform you all of this. Miles name is Miles motherfucking Hessington and I don’t care how much this town loves Jon he’ll never get his hands on my nephew. Now pout and throw your petty shade but I think KC told your ass to get to a crime scene and figure out who ran over Skye and instead of trying to berate me I suggest you go do your job which my tax money pays for.” Lex said rubbing his jaw. “Bad move Mr. Rhodes, bad move.” Lex walked away throwing his hands up.

KC looked at Miranda. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help it, he called you a bitch and said I should muzzle you. Well how about I beat him into he couldn’t breathe. Thanks Devin for having my back. I could have flatten that boy but I’d rather not. Geez it felt good to punch that smug pompous son of a bitch. He took Miles out of spite not out of necessity. I don’t like that one bit and I think that I’m going to do all I can and use every FBI contact I made to help you Jon.” He said looking at his friend who was watching some doctor working on Skye. “Jon she’ll be ok.”

Jon looked at Miranda and KC with his eyes narrowed. “I don’t need you to tell me that she’ll be ok because honestly I don’t care if she makes it or not. Nor do I need your sympathy because honestly my sister betrayed me and you’re just as fake as she is. I mean didn’t you just fake dead for years? I don’t have to listen to your fake support and your fake ass concern. If you were concerned Randa you should have said something a long time ago. When you had the suspicion and I just have to ask why do you give a flying fuck aren’t you done with me? You walked in that treacherous bitch Dani wedding. You picked a side so all of you get away from me.” Jon said numb from all that was going on. Numb from the fact that he was so cruel to Skye and now she was on death’s door, knocking loudly. “I don’t have a sister anymore. I can’t wait until KC disappoints you again Miranda, because I’m going to know when it happens and how it happens and I’ll say nothing. Nothing at all, just like you to me. Say nothing to me and stop pretending you care.” Jon looked at Devin. “I’m going to the station you coming?” Without hearing if he was, he walked to the elevator. “I’ll wait in the car, if you have to say your goodbyes. Sadly I have already said mine.”

Miranda had been way too gleeful when it came to the fact that Lex took it too far and and called her a bitch, despite what she did to Jon, they were husband and wife and KC was not going to stand for some asshole that disrespected her. Even an asshole as rich and pompuss as Lex he didn’t care about the consequences but a shudder went through her of dread and fear when Lex threatened them, almost as if she felt the words behind them casting a shadow over them. She had seen Devin spring forward to break it up and her brother was like a fucking robot in the corner watching the entire thing. She got that he was still mad at her about everything but she was trying to make it right and she had to cringe when he went on yet another tirade about her side that she had chosen. Yes she walked down the isle Quinn was the flower girl and Dani was a huge part of her life that didn’t just change overnight. The fact that Jon expected that to be the case was mind boggling to her Quinn would ask questions hell they hadn’t even told the rest of the family about Miles and she fumed at her brother watching him stalk to the elevator he could lie to himself if he wanted he cared about Skye.

“Running away won’t fix this Jon you care about her, if you didn’t you wouldn’t have tossed me out of the house the other day. Dani is Quinn’s godmother what in the hell do you want me to do just cut her out of Quinn’s life? Have you even told mom and dad about Miles or is that on me too? Of course I care you idiot that is why I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want it to be like this between us, because you are my brother.” Miranda said anger at her brother clear while she followed him to the elevator anger on her face as she watched Devin awkwardly look between them he knew what was good for him he would keep his nose out of it. Looking around the hospital she looked over at KC and then at Devin this was between her and Jon and him just leaving Skye here fighting for her life was fucking cruel and if they weren’t going to call his ass out on it she would. “I was wrong okay everyone was wrong okay and most of us are sorry it came out like this. I hope to God you get your head on straight because right now you’re ugly Jon that’s the simple truth of the matter and frankly Skye even deserves better than your ass at the moment. Go ahead Jon and run away and confirm everything that she and the Hessington’s thought about you from the get go, that’ll sure look good from here on out. I mean aren’t you two living together or fucking or whatever it is you are doing? Or do you just want to treat her like shit now?” Miranda said seething at him and feeling KC pull her back. “I’ll call Merci because clearly you can’t handle this.”

Jon turned to Miranda and grabbed her by her face and kissed her forehead. Pulling his sister into a hug and leaned into her ear. “I love you and I love you enough to tell you this. I hate you right now. I hate everything including myself. If I was a better man and ten toes down then Skye would have never went to them. But I can’t forgive you all this easily. You all just kept a secrets from me and until I get over it Miranda. I don’t want to be around or Quinn or KC or any of you. I’ll tell mom and dad. I’ll tell them that you betrayed me, my oldest friends betrayed me, and how I’m the bad guy now because I treat the woman who gave my child up like how she must deserve to be treated. Fuck Skye!” He screamed in Miranda’s ear not letting her go. “I can’t be happy right now because all I see is everyone I fought in Iraq to protect not protecting me. Nobody but Devin has my back and I’m done with you all.” He kisses his sister’s forehead and lets her go, watching her stumbling to KC. “I’m done. No more tirades about betrayal, I’m just done with you. So stop fucking trying because I don’t have a sister. Do I need to whisper it any more.” He finished closing the elevator doors in her face as he left.

*********

Dru was walking down the street as the snow flickered on her coat as she looked at the Fraiser house. It was the house that Walter and her uncle Brandon were raised at. She saw an older woman salting the ground from the snow. She knew who that was. “Excuse me?” Dru said, calling out to none other than her grandmother. “I saw you at the wedding. You’re Dani’s grandmother right? I’m Dru their nanny. Well when they come back I’ll be starting. I’m on a walk. My boyfriend was just arrested tonight. I’m wondering if I should go to the station or if I should just walk away.” She lied effortlessly as she looked at the house behind her with wonder in her eyes. Shaking the snowflakes out of her hair she looked at the woman who had caution still. “I’m sorry I just overshare. I should be asking all about Dani and what do the Fraiser’s do with their babies. I know how to take care of babies but your family is so interesting. I would love to hear all about how you raised Walter and Brandon right?”

As she tussled her hair she approached Grace as she looked at her. “Why are you staring at me like that?” Dru said as she reached out for the salt. Holding the bag she smiled at her. “You seem to be confused. Are you alright? The way you’re looking at me. It’s like you know me. My name Dru Price and you’re Grace.” She heard sirens as she turned to see the ambulance flying down the street. What was going on in Atlas Falls? Biting her lip she looked at Grace and smiled who seemed to be now smiling at her. “Okay I have to ask why you are smiling.”

Grace loved winter the smell of ice in the air loved the sparkle of the lights on the snow and here she was sitting on the porch while Walter and Brandon said goodbye or was it her beloved Donovan she shook her head to clear the cobwebs it was such a lovely wedding. She always wanted to be here in the present and as she looked in the window at the faces talking it took her back to when that was her entertaining friends while her husband was at the Pub. When she heard the stranger start to speak to her she was a bit startled it was well after midnight. “I’m Danielle’s grandmother yes. I mean I think I am.” She said trying her hardest to stay in the present like she was a few hours earlier she didn’t want to be stuck in the past. Which seemed to be where she always ended up even after fleeting moments in the present. “I’m sorry who are you again where am I?” When she turned though and got a look at the woman she stared and then let out a gasp.

“Kendall your back your father and I were so worried when you went swimming at the lake. Walter and Brandon said they couldn’t find you.” Grace said seeing her daughter before her again she had grown of course into those lanky legs and arms she always told her she would. The lights reflected in Kendall’s eyes and she wasn’t sure she would ever see that again in her daughter after that day on the lake Chief Harrison said that they had found her body, but she always told her husband Kendall was a strong swimmer. “Donovan she’s home I told you she would come home.” Grace said shaking in joy at her daughter before wrapping her arms around her and hugging her trying to stifle the tears. “I told him you were a strong swimmer, Donovan she’s home!” Grace said smiling at her and then at the house when she turned back though she shook her head. “Who are you again? I’m sorry.”

For the first time since she arrived in Atlas Falls her heart actually began ache at what she was doing. Walking the older woman back to her home. Placing the salt down she grasped her coat lapels and nodded to the doorway for Nana Grace Fraiser to go inside. She heard about Kendall Fraiser, the lost daughter that they never spoke of. She at first wanted her to stay in the past and rip out secrets but when she asked who she was Dru truly felt like her stomach was in knots. She called her Kendall. This woman thought that she was her dead daughter. Did she look like the older Kendall? She wanted to know how she looked. She wanted to hear history for a brief moment; she felt the hate dissipating from her body. But it all came crashing back when she asked who she was again. It felt like she wasn’t important all over again and it ate at her.

“I’m Dru Price the nanny of your great-grandchildren, I was just bringing you out of the cold. I should maybe call someone to come sit with you Grace.” Dru said suddenly not wanting to be there with Grace or in this house. Suddenly she felt the air leaving her body as she saw a picture of the woman on a mantle. It had to be the older Kendall who flaming red hair reminded her of her very own. As she removed her gloves she looked at the other woman. “Sit down.” Dru said looking at her. “You called me Kendall, who is that?” She said as the curiosity of what she remembered got the best of her.

Grace had no idea where she was at the moment other than in front of the house and this poor girl was helping her in? She tried to remember not to panic Brandon had mentioned that one of her grandchildren would be by later to check on her. This girl wasn’t any of them though or at least one that she could remember and she nodded her head at her the nanny for the new babies. “I remember the wedding she looked so pretty like I did when I married my husband. He’s you know still with me, he’s just working late at the pub. You should meet him. I’m sure he will be here soon. You’re the nanny, in my day a woman stayed home and raised her children. I suppose it’s not the tradition now it’s not good for a mother to be away from her children most of the day. Kendall never wanted to be married I told her though eventually she’d have to.” Grace said shaking her head at the girl in front of her trying to stay in the present but the house was so full of good memories or reality depending on how she looked at it lately those things had blurred and she had heard her sons talk about a home for her over her dead body. She tried not to be too anxious about the stranger in her home and then she looked over at her again and saw Kendall.

“I told you I don’t want to hear about the excuses anymore Kendall your grades are not up to par, you’re acting out in school there is only so much your father and I can do, if it doesn’t stop they are going to expel you. Your father is not here right now but when he gets home we will talk about this if he comes home.” Her eyes were soft for a moment why did Kendall do this to them all her behavior was unacceptable and she knew that but ever since that night at the Pub and what she had seen, she shook her head at her now was not the time for it. She moved a few feet into the living room not sure why they butted heads so much but it always felt so hostile when Kendall and she would fight. “Why do you do this to this family? Why can’t you just be like your brothers?” She said looking at her and then out the window at the lights on the outside of the house, the ice on the streets, the glimmer reflecting in her eyes as she turned back to the woman and jumped not knowing who she was. “Who are you? How did you get in here? You need to leave before I call the police.” Grace said fear overtaking her as she stared at the young woman in the house.

Dru eyes began to burn with tears and for the first time in a long time she felt like a hypocrite. Was this all worth it because seeing her fucking grandmother declare her a deadwringer for her dead aunt Kendall, who she was named after. The irony is that Walter or Brandon hadn’t seen it so maybe they didn’t want to. Her rage simmered again as her lips quivered. Covering her mouth she walked up to Grace nodding her head. “Ms. Fraiser I just helped you in from the cold. You were just salting the same spot over and over again. I’m sorry if I scared you I just didn’t want to keep you in the cold. I’ll leave right now and you don’t have to call the police. Trust me I’ll call Lauren Fraiser, Walter’s wife and she’ll know who to get to come over.” Clutching her purse she began to step back and stumbled into Walter and a woman dressed in scrubs. She had a name tag that read April. April had a stethoscope around her neck and she reached out to Grace leading her out the kitchen.

Covering her mouth she felt overwhelmed right now and she also felt the need to poke Walter Fraiser once again. “You people just leave her here alone? She was pouring salt on the same spot over and over again. It’s cruel and every redhead doesn’t look like your family so please tell your mother I’m not Kendall. Who is she? She was so nice to me at first like I was a daughter or her favorite niece. Then she flipped and chastised me? It got a little scary, plus I don’t do elderly. I don’t like it.” For the first time Dru was being honest. “My parents took me to the worst smelling nursing home when my grandmother died. It is just scary to know how mortality works. You know one minute you have everything then the next you’re old and can’t recognize the most important people to you. That’s heartbreaking. But we don’t have a choice but to age and change, you haven’t though have you? I mean you hurt Lauren and tonight I watched you scattle away from Brenda. That breaks a woman to the core. You know she was just floating and you ran away in her moment of need.” Dru said, narrowing her eyes. “I didn’t know this was Grace until I walked in Dani and Lauren are always talking about how amazing she is.” Seeing the old war photographs of Grace and Donovan in the Army in what had to be World War One.

Walter had heard from April that she could come stay with his mother; it was something that he and Brandon had discussed; getting a live-in nurse was the compromise they came to. He didn’t want to do it that night but she had called to say that she could start so he had agreed after the wedding. He had gone to pick her up and take her to the house though the nurse insisted she could drive he no doubt knew she could and she would get a rise out of his father’s old car or she could use one of her own. What he wasn’t prepared for was Dru Price at his mother’s house judging him and Brandon for the state his mother lived in. He had been taking care of her for years, mainly Lauren, Dani and Braden. Bradon and Helen were over two hours away and of course his nephews and nieces helped out as well but how dare she imply that they just leave her alone most of the time, he had been gone an hour at most. “Mom it’s me Walter, everything is fine. You remember April, Brandon and I talked about this she’s going to be staying with you for a while. She’ll help you into bed.” Walter said seeing his mother relax a little as April guided her down the hallway and he waited till her door was shut before he glared at Dru how dare she.

“We people do not just leave my mother alone you have a mouth Dru and I would kindly suggest that you shut it at the moment. My mother has early onset dementia and alzheimers usually it is myself, Lauren, Zach, Dani, Braden or Brock that comes to check on her. We’ve been doing it for years as you may of noticed she can get out on her own this is not the first time it has happened. My mother is never alone. She always mistakes redheads for my dead sister if you really want to know.” Walter said looking at her he may of been a lot of things a terrible father when it came to his daughter, a hard ass at the Pub and at the office but he loved his mother and her care was the upmost priority when it came to their family. She was their matriarch even if her mind was fragile when it came to where she was now.  He took a breath no harm no foul that Dru had found her it was one of the reasons that they needed a in home nurse for now sending her to a home was not something she was willing to do. “My sister was young and beautiful chasing boys left and right, she and my mother got into a fight one night and she left for the lake. A storm rolled in Kendall was on the lake and the tide took her in and she drowned, she was barely sixteen hadn’t even really experienced life she blamed herself for years. As I pointed out earlier at the wedding my relationship with Lauren or Brenda really is none of your business. Lauren and I are in a good place and Brenda knows what I have to do as mayor given the circumstances of this evening. I understand that you are going to be the nanny to the twins but you see to have an odd fascination with the women in my life or at least the ones I’ve fucked. Would you care to explain that?” Walter asked looking at her trying to figure her out and wondering why she intrigued him so much.

When he said she always mistaken redheads for Kendall a part of her didn’t feel as special as before. Her eyes began to grow dark again as she rolled her eyes. “Please don’t flatter yourself, your penis isn’t the least bit interesting. I guess I watched men like you all my life charm smart women into giving them their hearts and then boom it’s all over. It’s all done and they’re left alone and heartbroken. Kendall seems different than all of you I mean the Fraiser’s are known for being straightlaced unless they have a bottle.” For some reason she felt a kindred spirit in her aunt Kendall. “I’m sorry about her death that had to be hard on all of you. Look I know I may come off a bitch about certain things but I just hate women being trampled over. You seem to do that intentionally or not Mr. Fraiser and I’m sorry I think you like it. If Lauren would come crawling back you’d take her and now you have Brenda doing the same thing because of her family’s political scandal. It’s just a keen observation from a outsider.” She strolled to the front of the house. “I found her outside okay and wandering or not she needs to be better cared for because anything could happen to her. She’s your mother and your nieces and nephew and children’s grandparent should be more a priority.” Dru said snappily daring him to go toe to toe with her. Her dark green eyes and crumpled fist she felt it, push him harder.

“Kendall that name sounds so familiar isn’t that what Brenda named your daughter that died. Wow this family seems to have a history of that. Kendall, Victoria, and Kendall again.” She said knowing how grim what she was saying to her own father. She was lying that she was dead and she was in his face. “You are really something, you have fought for influence and power your entire life and now you have it right but no one to share it with. Lauren isn’t with you and Brenda isn’t. Are you happy? I mean your daughter was stolen from you and you were ok to be with that woman. She continued this ugly legacy of ripping the daughters from the family and you can be around her. Brenda Kincaid makes my skin crawl in disgust because of her actions. She seems horrid and she seemed fake and vain and narcissistic.” As if Walter was reading her mind he stared at her a little too hard for her liking. “I’m being judgemental. Let me stop. You know what we keep getting into these strange debates when you are my employer’s parent that has to be against a rule. Mr. Fraiser I’ve been out of line and I’m sorry I really should be leaving. I do want to say to you Walter that I used to dream of a dad like you. It’s just sad to see the dream isn’t what I thought it to be.”

Walter looked at her she certainly had gusto that he had to admire even if he felt that she really needed to watch what she said and to who other people in town would take her to task for it. He understood that she had a rough childhood it was something that Lauren had mentioned and it wasn’t like his ex-wife to make such bad errors in judgement most of the time, she had invited her to move in with her until she was settled again. He now understood by Brenda was always so annoyed with her honestly because she kept sticking her nose into places it didn’t belong and judging how he lived his life while they were practically strangers. He looked at her up and down as he moved to the door to open it for her. He had enough of her outbursts and innuendo and he frankly wasn’t going to put up with it any longer especially not in his ailing mothers home. “I think its time you left Dru.” Walter said not really giving her a choice as she backed up and they stepped outside and he closed the door behind him. “I’m not your father and I’m sorry you had such a crappy one. But I have children that I love and care about.”

“My sister’s death was a tragic accident and that was partially why yes Brenda saw fit to give our daughter her name, sadly my other daughter tragically died with Brenda too. Victoria’s death was worse and I would advise you to never mention her again you have no idea what that was like for me or Lauren or my other two children.” Walter said coldly as he looked at her and thought he saw something in her eyes fear maybe or anger and he frankly didn’t care. He wasn’t her father and her showing up left and right rubbed him the wrong way no matter her past she was far to interested in his family for his liking or he was fucking paranoid at this point. “I’m sorry you had such a rough go at it from what Lauren has told me but I’m not your father. You are the nanny to my grandchildren and a former employee that the pub will miss. I would kindly ask that you not involve yourself any longer in my family affairs when it comes to our business. Lauren thinks you’re  a good person but my daughter was apprehensive about hiring you. All it would take from me is a few words and you’ll be gone do you understand?” He finished adjusting his coat in the cold and looking at her.

“I understand.” Dru then clicked into what Pierre was saying. It was as if the wedding and tonight was the purpose of what her overall goal was. Dru wanted revenge on all the Fraiser’s and since she had sent Philip to attack the Kincaid’s she needed them to pay. Pierre warned her that all her snooping and emotional outburst would draw suspicion. Now looking at it all made sense. Biting her lip she looked at Walter and shook her head. “I’m opinionated and can be a little bit abrasive. I don’t mean much about it but I’m going to head home. I’m sorry you’re not my father and I promise to stay back and out of personal family stuff. I’m not family nor will I ever be so I should keep my mouth shut. I’m just the nanny and no longer opening my mouth this is awkward because you just threatened my job. Okay I’m leaving.” She clutched her purse. “Grace is a hell of a woman, goodnight.” Walking down the steps and quickly walking down the street.

Dru knew that from now on it was war. She was going to hurt every Fraiser in Atlas Falls. She was going to eviscerate them all because Walter had said it and made it very clear. They weren’t family and he wasn’t her father. He’d be the one she hurt the most. She’d already stolen the Kincaid family legacy but tonight and going forward she was going to hurt the family that was said to be unbreakable. She was determined to hurt them all. Looking back at Walter she waved and walked down the street with fury she didn’t have mere moments ago. Pulling out her phone she typed to Pierre he was right and apologized asking for a meet up. She wanted his help to set them ablaze even worse.

*********

Ronan walked through the halls of his mansion seeing the sunlight beaming in the windows it was summer, he could actually smell the honeysuckle from the plants outside drifting in the air. He remembered the smell from his childhood and he saw Thor out of the corner of his eyes in what looked like the library with a woman who he really hoped was Cassie shaking his head he turned and saw Gia looking out over the balcony. Walking towards it he wasn’t sure what time this was none of it was making sense but he felt at piece here yet something was missing. Something in his heart, he should be happy in this moment a beautiful and strong woman by his side, his brother alive and yet he wasn’t happy almost like something was unsettled. He turned to Gia looking at her and leaning in to kiss her he however pulled back seeing blood dripping down her arm pooling onto the stone of the balcony. There was a pool there and then he looked down and his own shoes were covered in blood and then he felt a sharp sting in his shoulder and before he knew it he was screaming. Looking around the mansion for anything to solace himself and realized that nothing was there for him, Brooke was not there. He blinked his eyes for a few moments trying to figure out what was real and what was not. Only for his eyes to slowly open and the sunlight of the mansion was replaced with the dim glow of neon lights and a room at St. Christopher’s. Thor sitting in a chair arms folded like he was praying and he tried to sit up only to notice the IV in is arm realize he was still woozy.

“Thor? Are you okay? Tell me everything. All I remember was Kelly throwing down those photos of KC Rhodes, Gia speaking and the next thing bullets breaking out everywhere. Gia was hit is she okay?” Ronan asked grimacing as he managed to press the button on his bed and raise himself seeing his shoulder heavily wrapped and in a sling it hurt like a mother fucker and he realized he likely had surgery on it and then wondered how long he was out. It was dangerous for him to be out it meant that someone could grab for power unless his brother stepped up and made sure that everyone knew that until he was out of the wood that meant that Thor was in charge. “How long was out? Have you made the necessary calls. I need Raven down here immediately.” Ronan said looking at Thor and seeing his face and he could tell something was wrong just by the way that Thor was looking at him. He had no idea what happened but he did need answers. “What is wrong what happened it couldn’t be worse than this shit in my arm. Where is Gia? Is it her?” Ronan asked wincing as he reached for the water that was by the tray by his bed and seeing his guards outside the door, how much did the FBI know and how did they know about the meeting.

Thor sat silent knowing the feds were on their way to the hospital if they aren’t already on here waiting to hear Ronan was alive. He didn’t die as he leaned up and grabbed his hand. “Two hours. Was this how you felt when I was shot a few weeks ago? I felt hopeless bro and I don’t like seeing the great Ronan Madden vulnerable as you are at this moment. Vlad and Kelly are gone, they are flying home and trying to minimize the damage. Kelly is flying her family’s private jet and I don’t know how Vlad escaped. I do know that the FEDS have raided Cape Kenitrich and Chicago. They also have targeted Gia’s people in Canada and New York. This is dangerous Ronan do you think Kelly would blink twice with eliminating you? The O’Connor’s are the most powerful mob family in this country and Vladmir isn’t far behind. They will kill me, you and anyone else. I’m trying to find a lawyer right now who can take the case. I got a call a few moments ago. The FEDS found Raven body inside of the warehouse. She was stuffed in a closet. Someone killed her before the shootout and she’s dead.” Thor grabbed his brother hand seeing his face contort in obvious pain.

“Gia’s fine I have Hulk and Nasir watching her because I have something to tell you. Ophelia took out the bullet and they found out Gia is pregnant. I know I should have let her tell you but Ronan, I don’t trust her. I don’t believe that we’ve been targeted like this. She’s a black widow and now she’s carrying your child. Ronan you can’t be this blind that all of our trouble started. Now Raven texted me from Cape Kenitrich when she visited someone about Gia and came back with news. She was talking to me and then she turned up dead? Come on think Ronan, I need you to not think with little Ronan but your brain. I’m not blind that woman walking sex but I’m not also going to keep turning a blind eye. We were at war a year ago and the FEDS still had nothing. Now we are fight for our lives. Ronan, they are coming for us. There are APB’s and we are wanted. We are about to lose everything our father built if we can’t fix this. I wanted out for a long time but if and when we survive this. Ronan, I’m not staying. I’m going legit and I want you to do the same. I want you to have a life with that kid. My niece or nephew deserves not to lose their father the way we did. I don’t want to lose the only fucking family I have. Ronan we have to fix this. We have to because you are my brother and I want us to grow old. I want you to know my children. I want to know yours and I want you to live without the FBI or the DEA. I want you to be happy but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t live like this, pops and mom kept me from the business and I don’t want anymore. I don’t want bullets and death and tp lose everything I have worked for including my freedom. So I don’t know what else to say but congratulations you’re going to be a father.”

Ronan knew an hour was bad two was worse it meant that the feds would have had access to the warehouse and the mansion and he always remembered that is why he and Raven had been sure to make sure all the business side of things was done outside the US where they couldn’t touch it. They could have found the drugs, or some of the illegal money and weapons but anything harder than that was locked away offshore in a bank account that only he and Thor could access and all his other assets were tied to other projects and charities. “Vladmir would murder his own family if he had to in order to stay in power hell I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the one that opened fire.” Ronan said looking at Thor he was a little taken aback when he mentioned the O’Connor’s it seemed that he had more distrust for them than he did Vlad. He did not he never had they went way back all the way back to their grandfathers and on another planet and universe their family would have been united. “I doubt Kelly would send Kevin all the way up here last me to save me from getting stabbed and left for dead in lock up if she wanted us dead, she could have taken me out then.” He grumbled wincing as he tried to sit up only to not try and pressed the medication release on the remote in his hand. He was shaken when Thor said that Raven was dead and stuffed in a closet no less, she was his ally and had been one of his closest friends for years. “Do we know who got to Raven and who would have stuffed in a fucking closet?” Ronan finished his voice rising.

He stopped when he saw the machines beeping and his blood pressure rising he didn’t need a swarm of nurses rushing in at the moment. He and Thor needed to talk shop, especially with what it sounded like from earlier Thor wanting out, it hit him though when Thor mentioned that Gia was pregnant. He felt himself overcome with emotions he hadn’t really ever considered wanting children maybe with Brooke but he and Gia had been careless and he knew it was a possibility. “You expect me to turn on the mother of my unborn child after accusations that you have no proof of whatsoever. You are accusing Gia of a lot Thor including trying to kill me, you and now Raven without proof if I didn’t know better it would be the perfect powerplay from you again to stay in power but you just said you wanted out.” Ronan barked at him daring him to continue to disrespect him or for that matter Gia, he thought they were past all that shit last year. If Thor wanted to accuse Gia he better have solid proof and what if’s and maybes weren’t proof not to mention they knew that KC was alive now. “I think the timing is just bad we like that fucking fed into our lives and now it can bite our ass. He knew our routes Thor it’s just as likely as he relayed that information to be at the warehouse or attack our shipments and at least that theory has traction behind it. I’m not getting out brother I’m going to keep climbing to the top and if that means being with the black widow as you call her that is what I’m going to do.” Ronan said looking at his brother and sighing. “I know you want out and if that is what you really want I’m not going to stop you. I want to see Gia.” He finished looking at Thor and hoping this was the end of the nonsense when it came to blaming Gia for everything.

He didn’t know what else to say or do. It was like Ronan was consumed with gaining the power that Gia possessed and Gia wanted to suck him dry like a succubus she was. They were perfect for each other. Thor thought of just walking away but he had to try. Just thinking about Raven and all the men that they lost was enough to drive him up a wall. “People died today, a lot of good men, and a lot of people. Apollo Stavridis, a few of Kelly’s people with Kevin, and a lot of our men. I don’t want to say this but who came out smelling like roses. Only thing she didn’t get was that open cartel spot. Now you’ve knocked her up and she has even more leverage against you. More leverage and more control, I thought you said after Brooke no woman would control you again. Yet here you are begging for this venomous bitch.”

Thor sat back and shook his head. “Dad would be so disappointed in you.” He mumbled underneath his breath. “Think just think Ronan. Raven called me and told me legit she had proof that Gia wasn’t on the up and up. Now all of the sudden she’s dead. Now you can ignore it all you want but something isn’t right and my gut hasn’t proven me wrong. When I let go of my jealousy against you I knew it was the right move. When I officially accepted that you are my big brother and in control, I knew it was the best choice. Now you can pretend all you want but Raven family is our family. She’s dead, stuffed into a closet as if she’s nothing. I want justice for her and I want our family safe. I want you safe and my niece or nephew but with this woman she is the problem. But if that’s what you want. If you want our father’s legacy ruined because you can’t be with Brooke.” Seeing his shocked face showed that he had said what he said. “Look you want people to kiss your ass that’s no me. I’m here to tell you what I think. I think that this is foolish. You always get to tell me who I should be with well I’m here to tell you I think you were stupid as fuck to let Brooke go for this mobstress venomous bitch. At least you knew Brooke would never betray you.”

“And I won’t either.” She said with her arm in a sling looking at Thor. “I’m pregnant with your niece or nephew and I demand more respect for me,Thor. I almost died and yet you still have your doubts about me. I’m devoted to your brother and I’m devoted to making sure our baby has the lifestyle we deserve. You want out then go. That’s fine but I will have his back. I will love Ronan and protect him from the cops down the hall, and the likes of Kelly, Vlad and anyone else who wants to come into the picture against us. You can leave now because I want to actually figure out what we will do once they arrest us all. I’ll call my lawyer and we will be out.” She walked to Ronan staring in his eyes as she looked at him. “I thought you were dead handsome.” She turned her head to see Thor still in the room. “I said you can fucking go. Since you are so afraid I’ll betray him.”

Ronan’s eyes stared darkly at his brother no woman controlled him and certainly not Gia. In fact he would actually think it was the opposite when it came to he and Gia, Gia had sought him out they were a team and Brooke was away from him and the business that is what mattered. He and Brooke were on two different paths that would never work and he refused to snuff her life out like that. Not to mention she was marrying Prince Atticus Kavanaugh she was on to bigger and better things. He was going to take over the entire east coast and up into Canada and bow that he had Gia by his side that was no longer a pipe dream. Something their father always wanted to happen and the power that came with it was within reach all he had to do was keep in tact with Gia her being pregnant solidified that for all of them. That meant to all their colleagues that he was in control and she simply was at his beck and call along with her resources, it also meant that their family line would continue even if it wasn’t exactly the way he planned it out. He scoffed his father would be proud of him and the progress that he had made when it came to Gia and her entire family. It meant that the Madden family was in charge from there on out when it came to their entire organization there would be bonds that were formed now. He knew the sacrifices that he had to make to make that possible but he had already made those changes and he was determined to keep them that way. Everyone sacrificed in their business and he was no different he had set Brooke free for her own good and now she could be happy and he could revel in the power that came with completely taking over. Gia wouldn’t care if he fucked around once in a while or did drugs or murdered people because she knew the sacrifices he had to make.

“Thor was just telling me the good news that is all he is worried for your safety and our child’s. You should have told me before the meeting I would have never put you into that position if I would have known before the meeting. Your safety is my top concern from here on out and a woman in your condition had no place at that meeting at that table.” Ronan said his tone clipped wanting Thor to drop it with Gia at the moment his brother could keep his off kilter suspicions to himself from now on. He would let Gia know that from now on he took the lead when it came to the business side of things hell even when Kelly had been pregnant she stepped back had the child in hiding in Ireland and gave it to others to raise. There had been too much of a threat on her life at the time and her families she certainly didn’t walk up pregnant to meetings. He could tell that Thor wasn’t happy with his order but his dear brother had no other choice he was the one in charge now. “We will have to use your lawyer someone killed Raven before the raid happened if I had to guess one of Vlad’s men or the FBI who will no doubt try to pin that on us How far have they got to the operation of north? How far along are you and are you sure you are alright?” Ronan asked looked at Gia and kissing her lips softly and he could feel Thor’s eyes burning into them.

“I will respect the mother of my family. That child is my niece or nephew.” Thor said looking at his brother. “I have actually contacted a lawyer for all of us because the Jews and the Mexicans have called brother. I have word that they have built a strong case against all of us. Kelly included and you know the old saying O’Connor’s don’t see jail. They beat jail and so I have a lawyer who is a shark but she’ll cost. She will cost us more than we may be willing to pay. I know you don’t want to do it but I think it’s to call Nova from Africa. Ronan they are here and as soon as they get word you’re awake and that doctor tells them they are arresting us all. We don’t have a choice.” Thor looked at Ronan feeling his chest getting tight. Nova was Raven’s big sister and absolutely even more expensive and had a relationship with Ronan a long time ago that ended with Nova moving to Africa. Thor could remember his father ranting about how them but Nova would be coming home due to Raven’s death. This would be the perfect time to use her.

Gia looked at Ronan when Thor mentioned some other lawyer. “I have a lawyer for us. I think that is the smart thing to do they are here and already working on our release. If they are coming then we need to get out and access the damage immediately. We need to clean up and beat this or else we’re dead. People will kill us all and I don’t have time to wait on someone to come from Africa to save me when I am ready to ride. I hate to tell you Ronan I’m not Kelly or any of the the old girls. I’ve never played by the goomba rules so why would I start now. If the baby health is in jeopardy of course but I won’t be passing my business to you Ronan.” She said letting them both know how it was going to be. Right now the FBI was about to arrest her but she wasn’t scared they’d beat them together. “I’m three months pregnant. It happened almost the second time we were together.” She snickered as she touched his lips. “Now what do we do now?” She said taking his hand and touching her belly. “What do we all do to protect this one. The next generation of Madden.” Crawling into bed with Ronan laying her head on him.

Thor watched them almost disgusted. “I’ve already said Nova is the best option, she’s never lost a case and Ronan knows that. Raven was good but Nova’s the best. In American and international law if we have to flee.” Thor said looking at them both. A knock on the door as Jayden entered looking at Ronan and he stepped aside seeing federal agent Diego Santos and there he was Nico or KC Rhodes absolutely alive and somehow breathing he looked over at Gia and Ronan now sitting up. Jon Harrison walked in and began to read Gia her rights and he began to laugh. As he looked at Diego beginning to arrest him and cuff him.

KC walked up to Ronan’s bedside and looked at him and smiled. “What seeing a ghost? You couldn’t kill me Ronan. You couldn’t do it and didn’t do it and now I’m going to fucking destroy everything. I hear you’re going to be a daddy now. You wouldn’t hold that child because you’ll be in a prison cell for the rest of your life. You took me away from my family for years and I’m going to do the same. Your baby brother can’t raise that kid right because he’s going down too. So my question is who will get the orphaned baby? Gia doesn’t have family, you don’t have family so the system will figure it out huh?” KC looked at Ronan who clearly was pissed. “Ronan Madden you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to a attorney and to have them present during interrogation, if you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be appointed free of charge, You can waive your right to be silent before or during an interrogation, and if you do so, the interrogation must be halted;You can invoke your right to have an attorney present, and until he is present, the interrogation must be halted.” Looking at Ronan as he handcuffed both sides of his wrist to the hospital bed. “You said he’s stable right doc? He can go to the jail infirmary correct?”

“I told you he’s stable from removing the bullet, I didn’t say that coming into his hospital room and arresting his family in front of him was the best idea for a recent shooting victim. Agent Rhodes, you however have no self control from what I saw from earlier and now. I’m just a doctor but your egregious show of force and power is exactly what people are protesting against the police for right now. I’m sorry Mr. Madden I informed them I’d like to keep you a few more days under observation but the authorities are determined to arrest you.” Jaden said looking at KC and all the cops disgusted. “Pardon I have a hit-and-run victim to actually care for something I feel like you didn’t let me do for my patient Agent Santos and Rhodes.”

Ronan honestly thought he saw a ghost when KC walked into the room followed by Mia from the club and it hit him that Mia was Miranda Rhodes and his blood boiled in anger that he let that bitch into the club more so that Kendrick had. He remembered watching from afar the day they buried KC or Nico in the cemetery her black dress on surrounded by fucking Jon Harrison and the rest of the plice department, her little girl by her side clutching her hand. The girl had to have been six by now at least and he glared at the agents as he saw them handcuffing Gia and then Thor. He would consider Thor’s offer to call Nova but at the moment he wasn’t even sure how he would survive the next few hours let along few weeks in lock up with a busted up shoulder. He was grateful for the medical care that he had received from Dr. Bradshaw and noted that they could come to an agreement down the line if needed the man seemed eager.

“Well well if it isn’t you in the flesh Nico and your lovely wife, Mia or should I call her Mrs. Rhodes. She looks different out of a bunch glittered hair and makeup moving up and down a pole. I have to say the natural light fits her much better.” Ronan said as he watched them cuff him to the bed not saying another word to KC but he let is threat be known he knew where his family was now. He knew who his wife was, where his child was and if he wanted to reign down on his organization he could hit back as needed. “You should worry less about my child and more about your own. She’d be what about six now maybe seven? I think I’m looking forward to seeing this case fall apart just like you did in the lake.” He finished seeing KC lunge and Diego pull him back.

“You just worry about what Vlad and Kelly will do to you? You know Sean died in that shootout right? What about Apollo? Your people set up the biggest mobsters. Let’s see how long you last in jail you bitch! You keep my fucking child out of your poisoned mouth. I promise ymotherfucker you are going to fry.. You can’t get off for trying to kill me. I’m alive to testify against you and all I know you’re going down. All of you are going down.” KC watched as the agents wheeled and walked away with Thor and Gia. He walked to Miranda and looked at Diego. “This isn’t going to end until Ronan or I’m dead.”

*********

Tess couldn’t believe she dented her Jaguar. How did it happen? The ice was so slick and she just hit that damn mailbox and kept going but she knew that she would have to reach out to the people and insurance in the morning. Walking past her maid Eunice who was trying to tell her something. Raising her hand to silence Eunice to not say anything. She saw the Devonshire limo and knew Lowell would listen to reason and not his sadistic bitch of sister. That wasn’t her Lowell but this time she was ready to make it up to him. Poor Jackie she was making sweet love to him still and as she walked in she removed her earrings. “Darling, I’m home sorry I needed a few moments after Camilla’s lies. I just needed to clear my head because I was trying to think if I had anything.” She paused looking at Jackie as she turned to Eunice. “Anything you need to tell me Eunice?” Tess said feeling small that it wasn’t Lowell but his bitch of a wife. As she shook her head unfastening her hair as she walked to her bar and poured herself a glass of Fraiser whiskey as she closed the decanter she turned to look at Jackie.

“I don’t know what reason you’ve come over to my home. I’ve sat with the consequences of going against Atlas Falls grand Queen Jacqueline for years.” Taking a gulp of the pungent whiskey. “I sat with being second place to you my entire adult life and that’s how you’ve liked it. I thought if I smoothened my kinks and cleaned up by marrying just as rich as you it would make me better than you. I never hated myself so much because I knew where I belonged. It’s quite sad that you’re here to what? Beg for Lowell to return to you? Jackie he’s mine now and I know it hurts but I have something to tell you that I’ve been dying to say. You came here so you will listen to me!” Tess declared as she finally sat down in front of Jackie. “Lowell has loved two women in his lifetime, you and Audrey.” Seeing the shock on Jackie’s face as she looked at her. “I just had his two bastards and didn’t accuse of him of rape or believed your sisters demented words nor Zerick’s. That’s the difference I stand with that man. I would die for Lowell and he knows that he can’t hurt me like he has in the past. For once I know my place and it’s here and now. So you lose Jackie once your divorce is over you will nor longer be the grand Queen of Atlas Falls but I will.”

Jackie had left the hospital in poor spirits on top of everything that had happened the last thing her entire family needed was Natasha suffering an awful miscarriage and she wondered how her son and Natasha would be after something so tragic. She was thrilled that Jackson and Dani were married with the twins, thrilled that Fox was essentially her grandson and not Tess’s and she smiled at that. Maddie was her pride and joy out of all of her grandchildren and it made sense she was the first and was going to be a big sister until tonight. Rory getting Aspen pregnant was such a shock and she wasn’t sure her youngest was ready given that she could tell that he was still in love with Yasmine. She hoped for more grandchildren in the future but for now she was going to mourn her grandson and after her dance with Lowell face a monster she was determined to bury. She had simply show up to the estate and didn’t take no for an answer as Tess’s maid had attempted to kick her out instead she had walked right by and into the sitting room on the couch, Lowell wasn’t there she knew that as Julian had called to tell her he was at the police station talking to Zerick. She had every intention of facing the vile bitch that had betrayed her sister with lies and then inflicted those lies onto her nephew,so she was jealous of that, that Tess had a part of Zerick’s childhood but she would fix that. Tess wanted to play that game. She had something she never would: Hunter was loyal to her, Bliss thought of her like an actual mother and well Fox would be calling her nana and grandmother when he was a pending King. Tess could have Lowell now that she knew the truth that he was settling for her but she would win the long haul with Bliss and Fox.

“You really do need better help Tess I mean anyone can simply walk in and stay at this rate then again that is what you were a coward so maybe you recognize that trait in your help. I know Lowell’s not here, you see before he ran off to the police station he was in my arms sharing a dance on the dance floor had you not tucked your tail between your legs and ran you would have seen that. The look on your pathetic face would have been priceless but I’m not here to fight about how you’re second to me even now. No you see I’m her to make sure you understand one thing, you lose.” Jackie said looking her pointedly such a fragile little thing over the years but at least they could be honest with each other Lowell loved all his children but the woman in front of her she very much so doubted that given what Camilla had said at the wedding. She crossed her legs and straightened her back she was not going to let this bitch or her lies intimidate her any longer she knew a truth that Tess didn’t Lowell didn’t love her. He was settling because he needed Tess to change his bedpan. “I can’t wait to tell him what you really think of Camilla then again you can stop trying to save face with me here we both know she told more truth on the matter that you ever have in your entire life. As for Lowell he picked you because frankly chasing his soiled messes was beneath me. You seem to think that you’ve won but you have a dying man while I still have the people you consider your closest possessions. My nephew is proudly by my side after you and Forbes trying to twist him into knots. Let’s see Bliss is practically my daughter at this point and well Fox he’ll be calling me nana by the end of the year. You’ll have what exactly?”

“The money, the title, the legacy will be mine.” Tess said looking at her. “Tell him, do your worst because as you’re jealous that for once losing might be the new winning. I’ve spent my life in your shadow and I stepped out. Camilla can say her worse but we’ve never gotten along and Lowell knows that. Really so you are trying to take my daughter, and my grandchild. You truly are the good girl gone bad. Consequences come along with taking what isn’t yours didn’t you learn from me? I’m going to unleash chaos onto your life once he’s dead. I’m going to take everything from your children and my girls will rule. I’m going to get the soiled mess and the man at the end. The man that you still long for in your cold bed. He might not be here right now but he’ll be home. You are a human plague because you think that you have something over me? Camilla stole your chance just like I just stole the last few months with Lowell from you. I lose? I win because your happy ending is ruined and I could care less how desperate or pathetic you seem to believe I am.” She watched Eunice scuttle in with a bottle of champagne and pouring them both glasses. Swirling the whiskey in her crystal glass she gulped down the brown liquor and picked up the flute.

“Shall we toast about Zerick finally knowing who he is? Pressure makes diamonds and I’ve formed under the most heinous pressure from you. You’ve hated me but because Audrey slit her throat or wrist I do not bother to know how she did it but she gets a pass? You took my parents, and my legacy in this town. Now I am here to reclaim what is so rightfully mine. You are angry because your love and concern for Zerick is fraudulent and you had no idea he was even breathing on this earth until he came into your life like a wrecking ball. Don’t come to my home and think that I will curtail. You didn’t care if your sister was raped and you don’t care about Zerick you care about your reputation. Get out Jackie and if you come back I swear I’ll have you thrown out. Now leave I have had a trying night and I won’t be chastised by the likes of you.” Taking a sip of champagne. “Delicious just like when I take over DGI for my girls. Oh and as much love as you think Bliss has for you she won’t ever let me go. I have something you could never have over her. Genetics dear, she will always long for what I have never given her.”

Jackie pursed her lips as Tess started to talk about the money and the fame that she thought that she was going to get, Lowell had already told her that he was going to chose a CEO and financially take care of her. Yet here Tess thought that Lowell was going to hand over the company to her and the British brat Belle along with Bliss? If anyone was the sad and pathetic one it was her and she shook her head at her. “Oh Tess you really are living in an alternate reality aren’t you? You act as if Lowell has forgiven you for keeping Belle and Bliss from him or that he would pass over children that have worked hard for the company in favor of his sudden appearing bastard child. Bliss if you actually took time to see who she is you would see she has no desire to take over at DGI sadly though you just saw her trying to get ahead by abandoning her. Let’s face it that is what you are good at with your daughters abandoning them at least I can saw without a doubt I never abandoned mine in fact I took yours in when she came to Lowell lost, scared and alone.” Jackie finished seeing her words actually wound Tess gave her a satisfaction that she didn’t think that she had in her. Tess knew what Dimitri was capable of and yet left her daughter there in over her head and didn’t even bother to help her out. “Lowell would take his sister’s word over yours any day of the week after your little game you played with Forbes.” Jackie said as the maid handed her a glass of champagne.

“We should talk about Zerick how you took my sister with Forbes and planted lies in her head about what happened that night, how you and Forbes whisked her away to London. How I was called during her breakdown and when she tried to kill Zerick by drowning him, I demanded Forbes hand him over to him and yet Katie had turned over custody to him. Likely with you waiting like the viper you are on the side ready to pounce. You knew the truth and yet you let Forbes fill his head with lies and then let those lies collide in my life when he came to town.” Jackie said as she rose from the couch refusing to take a drink out of the glass no she had other plans for Tess. Tess was her thorn in her side and she wasn’t going to forget what had really happened and that ws Tess was involved in this cover up with Forbes even if she couldn’t prove it she knew the truth deep down and had purposely kept Zerick from a family that loved and cared about him because she was jealous of her and Lowell. “You claimed to be my sisters best friend but bitch I’ve always known better from the moment you made eyes at my husband Kate was simply your stepping stone. As for your parents they saw you for what you were a homewrecker and well I’d wash my hands of you too if I was them.” She finished as she finally got close enough to Tess and tossed the drink as hard as she could into her face watching it mix with her makeup and start to smear and then raised her hand and collided it against Tess cheek. “That was for my nephew you vile bitch.” Jackie spat seeing Tess’s maid staring at them from the doorway.

Tess felt overwhelmed with emotions did Jackie come over here to attack her? Well if it was a fight she wanted it was a fight she would get. As she wiped her face with her hand. Shaking slightly she stood from her chair as she looked at the other woman as if she had lost her mind. Tess lunged at Jackie as she flipped over the couch onto top of her. She shrieked as they tussled on the floor and kicking and she immediately clawed at Jackie’s cheek trying to harm that precious face. Rolling on top of Jackie getting the upper hand for a moment she slammed her into the marble floor. Then wrapping her hands around Jackie’s throat. “You spiteful bitch. You’re jealous because I finally have Lowell. I finally have the love of my life and you are jealous! He’s going to give me everything because it’s my time! It’s my time and he won’t break my heart again.” Feeling a knee to her gut she flew back into the table. Picking up the flower vase Tess immediately threw it at Jackie glass shattering everywhere. “You bitch! You bitch!”

Tess ducked at a marble ashtray flew across the room nearly hitting a portrait of her parents. Seeing it shatter she began to feel overwhelmed by emotions. It was from their Honeymoon in Belize and she could feel her heart swelling from pain. “You have ruined my life over and over again. You think Zerick was my fault? You left your sister and you will deal with it. You will deal with the fact you ruined my life. You ruined it! You destroyed my parents’ love for me! You poisoned them against me so I poisoned your nephew against you. I told him the truth about you. You can hate me but you’re not innocent.” Her lip quivered as she looked at Jackie. “You have done so much to me. So I kept screwing your husband. I kept loving a man who truly had no love for me! You understand now I loved him so much but I also knew he’d never love me! He’d never love me like you after a while I knew. I knew what I had to do to punish you. You made my parents hate me and I knew that having his children would break you. It did didn’t it, you can love Bliss all you want but it kills you that Lowell other daughters are mine! I am the only other woman that has Lowell children. You aren’t so special! You’ve never been special! You are nothing! You are a relic, a fossil that has nothing left to give to the earth. So won’t die instead of Lowell because we both know those kids would be better off without you as a mother you liar. You never wanted Zerick and the only reason you are here now is to clean your guilt bitch.”

Jackie felt an odd sense of satisfaction finally slapping Tess after all these years she had been so calm and poised when the only thing she really ever wanted to do was lash out at her. It was a gleeful feeling and one that she wanted to last only for Tess to lunge at her and they both flew over the sofa in a heap and for once she wasn’t going to back down pulling on Tess’s hair, scratching and hitting back. She was so tired of being soft and gentle complacent Jackie, always the loyal wife and mother at home while this bitch and her husband constantly made a fool out of her over the years she was done being nice and having this entire image that was for the most part held together with fragile tape over the years. She somehow landed on her back looking up at the ugly ceiling what was white with some light sparkle from it clearly Tess still enjoyed that eighties popcorn ceiling and then she felt Tess’s hands around her neck, clawing at her face and she could already feel that Tess did claw her. She refused to go down though trusting her legs up and kneeing her in the side and it was enough for Tess to let go as she shoved her backwards and saw the vase fly at her shattering at her feet. She waited a moment before picking up an ashtray next to her and tossing it across the room watching Tess’s horrified face as it shattered the picture on the wall of her parents.

“I’ve ruined your life? You slept with my husband and actively engaged in an affair with him ruining your own good fucking reputation I had nothing to do with it, it wasn’t like I led you to my bedroom to become a third party in my marriage that choice was on you and Lowell. As for your parents maybe if you didn’t spread your legs for my husband willingly they wouldn’t have found it in them to disown you, that’s the problem with you Tess you never admit that you aren’t the victim him so spare me.” Jackie said looking at her, she was so tired of this excuse that she had ruined her life when in fact Tess had ruined her own life and reputation. For extra measure she went ahead and grabbed a second ashtray in her hand and walking the picture on the floor before scattering the ashes all over the portrait seeing Tess’s face in horror. “Poor innocent little Tess spare me you bedded my husband and bitch I had no probelm telling your parents where you spent your nights when you were fucking him. Maybe you should have made better choices in life instead of starting an affair you knew was wrong, or helping yourself to my sister’s mental state after she was raped for your own gains not out of the kindness of your heart. You seem to think that I owe you something after everything you did with Lowell and Katie, that I’m somehow to blame for your choices. Had it of been up to me Bliss and Belle simply wouldn’t exist I’d demand you get rid of them just like I did with Audrey that’s probably why she slit her wrists, but alas here we are. Did you really expect me to stay locked up in my mansion after this little stunt you pulled at my son’s wedding?”

“You expect that this is over? I’m going to ruin you Jackie! I’m not a victim and I know that! I know that I slept with your husband but I had a life! I had a heart that you stepped on to! You went to my family and begged them to stop me! You brought my family in it years ago. Now I’m grotesque and so foul for helping your crazed sister. I didn’t use Zerick! I thought that she was crazy but when you assumed that your husband was a rapist then you lost him. You’re walking away Jackie go. Go! Leave my home or else I’ll call the police. I’ll throw you out! You said enough and everyone can hear you. Do you think Bliss will like to hear what her new mommy said that she shouldn’t be born? You are evil as I am and as the old saying goes every villain is a hero in their own story. If you ever step foot on my doorstep I’ll make sure you’re no longer living. I’ll shoot on sight and bitch your kids will bury you. You will pay for disrespecting my home! You will pay for turning this town against me! You will pay for every tear I’ve shed over Lowell when he was supposed to leave you. You weren’t and aren’t that girl Jackie.” Tess seethed back as she grabbed the crystal and aimed it at Jackie head throwing it. She saw her ducking nearly missing her by a inch.

“Either leave or one of us will be dead.” Breaking the decanter and shattering the glass. Moving her hair she looked at Jackie. “You desecrate my parents’ portraits and I will never forgive you. You think that Belle and Bliss shouldn’t be here? You are heartless and I think that me fucking your husband and having my girls was the best thing I did. I want to thank you for being so focused on Audrey that you pushed her to kill herself because while we’re worried about that bitch I was pushing Bliss out, and Belle! You never made him happy and I’m sorry that I did.” She said wiping her eyes as she shrieked at Jackie. “You are going to pay for this Jackie! You mark my words you will pay for coming here tonight.” As she looked at the staff standing between them. “Go away now Jackie you’ve lost the man and the power. Go bitch.”

Jackie wanted to laugh manically at her and the show she was putting on the saddest part was that she really did think that Tess believed all the shit she talked about. Tess really did think that she was the one that ruined her life or whatever else she wanted to ramble on about, when the only one responsible was herself. She chose to interject herself into her marriage and her relationship with Lowell and didn’t consider the consequences of it. “Oh boo hoo I’ve lost all sense of sympathy for you over the years Tess. You knew exactly what you were doing when you decided to play with Lowell in my marriage did you really think I wouldn’t burn you back? If you did you simply weren’t paying attention to anything or how society works. If you knew that Lowell didn’t rape Katie then why in the hell would you hide it if not to hurt your best friend as part of some sick revenge to me? Shouldn’t Katie’s well being of been your first priority instead you led her on this lie that it was Lowell and played your little part on the side.” Jackie said knowing that the staff was listening she was not going to let Tess get away with her part in this with Katie if it was the last thing she did. She would prove that Tess knew more than her little claim earlier at the wedding if anything for Katie. “You used my nephew you and Forbes you could have spoken up and told Zerick the truth hell if you claimed to love my husband like you do you would have or could have gone to him. Yet you didn’t I wonder why, don’t answer that deep down we both know why.” Jackie said darkly starring at her from across the room.

Picking up the coat that was now on the floor she brushed off the broken glass that was on it as she put it on there was no need for the police and she honestly doubted they would be locking her up if they did show up. She got out the leather gloves from the purse as well that she found by the leg of the tossed over sofa and placed them on. “Honestly Tess I don’t care if you do tell Belle or Bliss what I said they’re here now nothing I can do about it but had I of known back then well it is what I would have demanded that Lowell do. You keep thinking that you are getting a piece of DGI or the estate maybe you should have that conversation with Lowell I don’t think it is going to go the way your wayward dreams think it will, but I’ll leave that up to Lowell to burst that bubble for you.” Jackie said gleefully as she looked at Tess’s fuming face she may of thought that she was going to win the estate and DGI but she was going to be sorely mistaken at the end of the day and she’d let Lowell be the one to tell her that. Her only regret would be not  watching the absolute horror and disgust on her rivals face when she realized even in death Tess was nothing more than the woman that warmed his bed and gave him two bastards, meanwhile she would and always would be his soulmate. “Oh Tess I made him happy, he was just a creature of habit that just so happened to be fucking the help or others. Seems to me that I still know the man you’re with even better than you do and yet you seem to think I don’t have power in this town?” Jackie said walking up to her and pulling out a hundred dollar bill and to be a bitch she pulled out a second handing it to her. “This will be all you get Tess better use it to clean up your mess again.” Jackie said smugly as she looked at the staff’s horrified faces as she marched down the hallway and out the door, heels clicking and never once looking back on her way out.

Watching Jackie walk away Tess placed both hands on her eyes letting out a powerful scream. Collapsing to the floor she saw the servants and staff quickly trying to clean up. “Get out! Get out of here all of you!” She watched their feet scurry away. Seeing the door close she felt her heart pounding. As she crawled to her parents portrait and dusted off the ashes. Lowell had picked up smoking again in his last days. As he said he was already dying couldn’t kill him anymore. As she touched her father’s face and looked at her mother. “I’m so sorry. I was so selfish. I promise to bring honor to your name father and mother. I will be the woman you want me to be. I promise, I swear. Why did you hate me? Was I not the daughter you wanted? Was I not good enough? I swear Jackie I will rid this town of you.” Wiping her eyes she walked to her purse and dug through it until she found her phone. Dial Pierre’s number she turned to the mirror that was cracked showing multiple shattered reflections of her.

“Jackie just visited me and we just got into a huge fight. I’m fine, Pierre trust me I can take a few licks and keep ticking. I’m a battle cat. I’m calling you because she insinuated Lowell will leave me nothing after his death. I need your help to ensure that I get everything. Of course, I will fund a hostile takeover of DGI. Let’s see if Chauncey and Jackson are really ready to go to war. I’ll meet you tomorrow at your penthouse. Oh Pierre, I need you in Atlas Falls full-time.” Hanging up the phone she opened the door to see Eunice standing waiting on her to exit. With a supply of bandaids, whiskey, and peroxide. “Eunice I don’t need that. Tell me when Mr. Devonshire comes home.” Tess turned around and snatched the whiskey as she walked upstairs. She wouldn’t be ignored any longer her time was now and if Lowell didn’t see it, he could leave. Either she was about to be the new Ms. Devonshire or he’d be in the cold.

*********

Jackson placed Donovan in his crib as the cool night on Isla De Cruces. It wasn’t a tropical vacation but the house he just bought would be their vacation spot. He wanted one local and with business in the country he felt the need to have a homestead here. Looking at his wife he could tell she was at peace with her children and husband. That was exactly how he felt but a day ago they had the worst wedding ever. Literally Jackson was disgusted with everyone in attendance almost. Rory was going to be a father but under a gun because clearly he still loved Yasmine. Hunter and some of the Kincaid’s were shocked to learn Steven was a flagrant racist. Zerick shot Linus and he almost got shot. It wasn’t a good night and we weren’t even going to speak of the wayward rapist psychopath prince. Instead on the way he contacted Merci and used her connection to do two special things, one he’d discuss with Dani now and the other was a surprise for tonight.

“So there is a very famous priest that has been on Isla De Cruces for years who blesses many famous kids. Brad and Angelina, Beyonce and Jay, William and Kate and he wants to baptize and place blessings on the twins tomorrow. If it’s cool with you I’d love for the twins to experience that.” Jackson said looking at Donovan as he lowered down to kiss his son’s forehead. “This was a great idea, you know taking them with us. You are so damn sexy and brilliant my wife.” He said, smirking pulling her to him. “So I’m thinking about four more. I need only one more daughter but four more would be nice.” Jackson teased knowing that Dani wasn’t having four more children. She would want more but this was perfect. “I want to hear them running up and down the house and backyard. I want grass stains and us to be everything. But Garciella and Nuri are here to watch each baby and we have a night horseback ride to our cabana for the night.”

Dani had slept most of the flight from Atlas Falls to Isla Del Cruces the twins had been up on and off and she assumed that was due to turbulence and them not being a plane before. She had frowned a bit when Jackson had helped her out of her dress mid flight and his frustrated face which garnered them both bursting out in laughter that was much needed to Jolene waking up. Her wedding was not at all how she felt it would be which was a disappointment but she was still grateful that she got to marry Jackson and that was what was important to them, that they loved each other and were committed together and married. She hadn’t reached for her phone at all and had slept the second half of the flight and so had Jackson, she wanted to forget the drama that was in Atlas Falls and escape away to an oasis with just him and the kids. She didn’t want to have to worry about the Kincaid disaster that happened, or Dimitri and him hanging over their wedding. She didn’t want to have to worry about how DGI was going to be affected or Lowell’s lies coming out or Zerick. They had landed and then she had napped more by the time she woke up and they had dinner and fed the twins to put them down she was more at ease with everything. She had changed into a sweater and pants it was cold and she thought it was a little silly they were going to a smaller house or cabana or whatever they called it for the rest of the evening. When he mentioned the priest and what he wanted to do she wasn’t opposed to the idea but neither of them was religious.

“I’m fine with doing that for the twins though honestly I doubt either of us would get sacrament at this rate. But for them it could be fun and a way to start them on the right path.”  Dani said looking at the twins sleeping then at him when he said he wanted more kids eventually she did too just not right now. Right now them and two more was the perfect number and she was content with it. “Maybe in a few years we can try for another or two who knows twins run in the family. If we stay here though we may never actually leave for whatever it is you have up your sleeve.” She said looking good at him and leaning up to kiss him and lead him to the door stopping realizing she would be doing this a lot with Dru when they got back. “Atticus assured you these nannies are vetted and the castle is secure right?” She finished wanting his word before they left the twins alone with complete strangers.

“Dani, would I leave our children with someone who wasn’t vetted? Who I wasn’t sure that was safe. This is our night and I want you to enjoy yourself and consider that we have a full night ahead of ourselves. Look those are two of the best nannies and women on the island. I promise our twins are safe. Do you hear me? I love you.” He kissed her hand and smiled at her. As they walked down the staircase holding onto her tightly leading her outside. They then were led by a guide to the stables where a thoroughbred horse stood. Jackson helped Dani upon the horse grabbing the crop winking at her. Then mounted the horse as he began to follow the guide to the cabana on the other side of the island and castle. It was said to be the most beautiful cabana in Isla De Cruces that rivaled the castle which he found to be decadent and over the top. All which a castle should actually be. Riding all the way to the estate he saw the path and would be able to do it in the morning back. The guide would no longer be of need. Tipping them a hundred dollars the man smiled brightly at them. Getting off the horse he looked at the estate and knew this was where his kids would remember their summers.

“So yesterday we had the most insane wedding ever and I thought that you deserved something more chill and a ceremony. This cabana is ours I bought and I want to take the twins here every year or summer. It can be our tradition but first I want to rectify my mistake with having a huge wedding. I should have married you just like we are about to. If you want we can renew our vows right now on the island and have an actual calm and peaceful wedding. Even though you’re my wife now we can have the ceremony and honeymoon in one night kinda normal you know? If we want we can redo our vows and just do it again?” Jackson asked, looking at her smirking. “What do you say marry me all over just us?”

Dani knew it was silly to ask it but with everything that happened with Dimitri she was paranoid not to mention Kieran and then her little sister, she trusted Jackson at his word though and she did want to enjoy their evening. She was grateful that she hadn’t worn her dress when he led her outside and to the stables eying him with the crop with a small smile. She could never say their honeymoon hadn’t been eventful as he helped her up and then got on the horse himself. Isla Del Cruces was breathtaking at sunset as they made their way to the cabana with the guide, the sunlight hit the water and she could smell the salt of the ocean. When they arrived at the cabana which looked to her more like a house and said he bought it she had to lick her lips at him he was always so adventurous, it was something that attracted her to him. When he helped her down and they put the horse in the stable she made her way to the cabana and opened the door enjoying the view on the water. When he mentioned wanting to renew their vows and being traditional she couldn’t help but look at him, they had never been traditional it was cute he wanted to suddenly start. Walking to him she leaned up wrapping her hands around his neck before leaning in and pressing her lips against his to kiss him without a fussy baby on a plane interrupting them she pulled back looking at him.

“I don’t exactly have my dress at the moment husband, besides seeing how much you were cursing those damn buttons I’d like to think you’d want to skip all that formality again? If it means that much to you of course.” Dani said looking up at him her fingers stroking the back of his neck and pressing her body against his she could already feel him growing in his pants and she looked up at him they had been denied on the plane. Leaning up to him again she kissed him again, she’d marry him in a brown paper bag if he really wanted again and maybe they could renew their vows down the road she was just happy to be married to him at this point, to have his last name and to raise their kids together and be together. She let her hand lower to his slacks and rubbed that bulge slowly and then pulled back from him testing him. “Like I said if you want to of course I will. However I can think of so many other things I’d rather you do to me at the moment that we weren’t able to do on the plane now that we’re completely alone.”

Jackson knew they weren’t going to make it to the ceremony. Just by the way she looked at him at this moment all he wanted to do was shove his hard cock inside of her. Walking up to her he scooped her in his arms as he ran up the stairs. “Maybe we can renew at the baptism but I want to praise God for every inch of your body. Your perfect milky breast, you sweet clit that my tongue can’t get enough, I even love your ass cheeks and that little cute birthmark that’s shaped like a heart under the cuff of your ass. I want to lick your toes while I fuck that tight pussy.” Jackson whispered as he leaned in slipping his tongue into her mouth. Tasting the intense peppermint flavor in her mouth he exhaled mid kiss moaning into her mouth. Tonight he knew what Dani wanted and tonight she’d get it. Tonight she’d be his perfect sub and do exactly what he wanted. She was going to submit tonight and he was going to have his way with her in every position. Every move would be controlled and his plan was to do what he wanted to her.

“Tell me something since this cabana is our home now I think we can christen it with an intense love session. Dani I want to remarry you because our wedding was absolutely shit but we can do that tomorrow because I want you. I want you to submit to me and do whatever I say, can you do that Dani?” Jackson said, opening the door as he placed her down. “Dani I want you to give me yourself and do exactly what I say or I can assure you that the punishment won’t be pleasant are you ready? Or do you want to get married again?” Raising his eyebrow devilishly knowing she was going to say stay in. “So would you like to have a safe word? If this gets too intense?” He touched the metal briefcase full of toys. “You’d never guess how I got all this stuff here.”

Dani looked at him he had that dark hint of gleam in his eyes when he stalked across the room and pick her up carrying her up the stairs, she wrapped her legs around his waist as he did. Her entire body shivered at the action sex had always been good between them but felt different this time and she wondered it was because their relationship was on a different level. They weren’t just living together anymore or raising kids together anymore, they fully committed themselves to each other in front of all their friends and family back home. When he took her up the stairs and leaned in telling her all the things he wanted to do to her she couldn’t help the fact that her entire body clenched at the action and she saw him smile her nipples hardening at him under her sweater and through her bra. When he leaned in and kissed her, her tongue collided with his and she let out a moan after he did, feeling his hands gripping her through her pants and breathing in the scent of his cologne. By the time he pulled back and opened the door to sit her down she looked at him, clearly he thought ahead.

“I think I’d rather skip the renewal at the moment. I’m not exactly dressed for the occasion but I have a feeling you’ve arranged a lot more than that silver briefcase right there. You keep asking me that though who knows maybe I’ll hold out a little longer, you did after all sneak into my room before saying our vows and didn’t wake me. Maybe I’d like to hold out a little longer torture you a bit longer, it was awful lonely that night without you. I think we’ve established I can handle it and red.” Dani said looking at him in a way challenging him, she trusted him completely and watching him watch her she stepped away from the door stopping a few feet in front of him grabbed the hem of her sweater peeling it off. Revealing the white bralette of delicate mesh that barely covered her breasts, she leaned down giving him a full view as she peeled off her linen pants revealing a thin barely covering pair of see through mesh panties to match knowing she already broke one of his rules before rising back up to look at him biting her lip. “I’d hate for this to go to waste, as for obeying you. I can’t believe I forgot about these.” Dani said snapping the band on the fabric of the panties looking at him a gleam in her eye. “Whatever are you going to do?”

Jackson dick jumped as he looked at Dani’s striptease. Her smooth milky skin gleamed underneath the moonlight of Isla De Cruces. Licking his lips he saw her knowing that she was game. “You will do no such thing.” Jackson growled as he looked at her. Walking to the briefcase he pulled out a whip. “And since you seem to like to talk back.” Jackson pulled off his shirt revealing his impeccable upper torso. He could remember when Chauncey used to laugh at him because of his bird chest. Now look at him, he was literally the most fit although Chauncey and Rory would argue different. Turning Dani around he looked at her with a dark glimmer in his eyes. Feeling that urge to exert his dominance she was becoming far to complacent in telling him what she would and wouldn’t do. “Bend over.” No longer looking like the loving husband he was, right now he was carnal and all his urges had to be fulfilled or else he’d go crazy. His cock was starting to throb and he felt precum starting to ooze out from being so hard.

When she didn’t move fast enough for him he grabbed by her hair and turned her to him pushing her down. Kissing her back of her neck, as his tongue swirled down her spine. Kissing each ass cheek, left to right. As his tongue flickered over her asshole and then down to her swollen pussy. Already leaking and looking delicious. His tongue went between slurping on her ass to her sweet pussy. Standing up swiftly Jackson saw her enjoying this far to much. “You need discipline. Look at you thinking that this was going to be vanilla? Not tonight.” Unbuckling his pants letting them fall to the floor. Using the whip he gave her the first lashing or many tonight. With each strike of the whip he counted out loud. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.” He paused watching her pussy begin to leak like a waterfall. He was becoming so turned on but he wouldn’t let her win. Not this time. This would be him completely dominating her so she understood that he was the boss in the bedroom. As he striked Dani’s perfect ass again. “Nine, and ten. Good girl you took that like a pro. Now get on your knees and gobble up daddy’s dick. I want you to suck me until I say stop. Open up wide, I want to see your clit.”

Dani looked at him amused was a good word for it she had broken his rules but she did it purely out of love and well to test them both. “You seem to like it when I do talk back most of the time. Something about it being a turn on.” She said looking at him wide eyed with a smirk on her face at how he was already hard for her when he stalked back to her. When he told her to bend over she took her slow ass time doing it knowing it would drive him even further as she bent over the side table in the room giving him a perfect view. She didn’t even reach the wood before he grabbed her and forced her down and she squirmed against his pants feeling how hard he was she couldn’t help the shudder that happened though her entire body in pure anticipation. She thought about being even more of a smart ass to him until his lips pressed against the back of her neck and she let out a moan into the wood of the table seeing it fog up at the action. Her legs twitched back and forth as he made his way down and she tilted her head over her shoulder as she watched him pull the fabric down from her panties. When his lips touched her ass and then her crack she exhaled and then couldn’t help the moan that came out when it went to her warm center devouring it with his tongue and lips and she moved her hips to thrust into his face eagerly clutching the edges of the table.

When he pulled back a few seconds later she stared at him watching him lower the zipper on his pants and then exposing himself and she licked her lips at him. She saw him raise the whip and let that anticipation build when it hit her ass in all the right places and she began counting in her head with him with each stroke, feeling her legs shaking and her legs becoming slicker with each lash. When he stopped at eight she couldn’t help but let out a breath her legs trembling in anticipation as she watched him watching her and let out groan and then a sigh with the final two lashes. When he told her to get on her knees she turned around legs shaky and she took a few breaths to steady herself before she stopped and undid the clasp on her bralette watching him watch her. She trailed her finger down her breasts slowly as she lowered herself before she complied slightly spreading her legs so he could look stopping from touching her pussy until he told her so. She let her fingers rest on his hips seeing him jerk and flex at the action with a devilish grin she put the tip in her mouth for a moment before pulling back as she looked up at him. “Like this?” She asked her voice husky as she opened her mouth to him.

Jackson looked at Dani and grabbed her by her nipples pulling them and twisting them. Seeing her face contort in both pleasure and pain turned him on even more. “You’re being disobedient and I don’t like that. I think I’ve made you believe this is a democracy? No my dear I’m the dom and you are the sub. I said get on your knees.” Walking to the briefcase he pulled out a controller and two shiny nipple clamps. He walked to Dani and placed the nipple clamps on her breasts. Then he looked at her. “This may hurt. It’s a small electronic shock to your nipples that stimulates you. Now I said open your mouth.” Jackson said as he shocked her. Seeing her almost shiver in pain and pleasure was a turn on. So he shocked her again. “You going to do what I say now or shall I continue? You’re mine and I’d hate to have to break you in again.” Leaning down he kissed Dani again biting her bottom lip.

When she finally broke and opened her mouth. Jackson lifted her head up and kissed her as he leaned his head up he spat slightly in her mouth and quickly kissed her again tasting all the flavor. Stooping down Jackson shook his head. “Not yet.” He removed her panties and pulled out a pair of panties that had a small vibrator on the inside of it. Jackson slipped them on Dani and almost started fucking her seeing that pussy throbbing and soaking up her white mesh panties. He stuffed them in his mouth and slurped her juices off of the wet under garments. Sticking a finger into his mouth he placed the same finger in her mouth. Letting her suck it as he turned on the clamps and the vibrating panties at the same time. Dani was squirming feeling double pleasure and pain. “Open your mouth Dani.” She did as he said and he stuck his rock hard cock in her throat. Exhaling Jackson hissed as he began to fuck her face. “That’s it good girl. Don’t choke just take all of this hard cock.”

Dani looked up at him when he leaned down and finally did what she wanted him too took complete control he hadn’t done it in a while at least not like this and she found herself relieved and turned on at the same time. When he pinched her nipples and twisted them she couldn’t help the moan that came out or the shiver that rushed through her and before she knew it metal was clasped there and he had a remote to control exactly what would happen. She fought him for a moment mainly to get a rise out of him the first time he shocked her and relented the second time with a moan as she knelt the electricity doing something carnal to her when she opened her mouth like he said and he kissed her. When he pulled back she glared at him and watched in amusement and then excitement as he got so close to look at how wet she was and then placed the panties on her.

She couldn’t help but writhe in pleasure and pain when he turned them on and eagerly open her mouth taking his finger for a moment before he pulled back. Then taking his cock fully into her throat letting out a moan. Her hands gripped his hips at the action, her nails digging into his ass. Her legs opening and closing around the device as her head moved back and forth hearing him moan her own moans drowned out at his size filling her mouth. She wasn’t sure how long she stayed like that sucking him off as the vibrator kept working on her clit never fully satisfying her and he kept sending shock after shock to her nipples at the same time. The amusement on his face, the pleasure etched there while he dominated her. Her teeth grazed his shaft as she moved her head she could feel his hands in her hair and she looked up at him her eyes begging with tears from being so close and held back, the vibrator was keeping her right on the edge never fully taking her over. When all she really wanted was him inside of her making her scream his name while she came.

“Stop.” Jackson called out as he pulled his hips back, his dick slipped out of her mouth dripping with saliva. He walked to the briefcase and pulled out their black leather handfastening cord. His cock bouncing in anticipation of fucking his wife. “Get on the fucking bed.” He commanded as he scooped her up seeing she was moving too slow and tossed his wife on the bed and jumped on himself. Positioning Dani on her knees in the bed before lowering the panties watching her clenching and releasing for him. Then he tied her hands behind her with the very ties that committed them. Jackson immediately slipped into Dani from behind and held her with the handfastening cord slamming her into his cock roughly refusing to move just yet.

“Say my mother fucking name Dani. What am I? Huh?” He said knowing she was in pleasure because he had tied her up. “I’m the dom right? You won’t fucking disobey me again will you? Huh? You’ll listen next time I say something won’t you.” Jackson roughly pounded her as he held the leather rope. “Say it Dani or I’ll get the ball gag out! Say it? I’m the boss Dani! Say it. I’m daddy now!” Jackson said commanding her as he slipped out of her pussy and right into her ass fucking her seeing her squirm he began to thrash her tight hole. As he pulled out and pushed right back into her pussy. He saw her going crazy. “Say it or I’m going to fuck you all night!”

Dani looked at him in relief when he stopped pulled back and told her to get on the bed and she moved slowly not because she was trying to be bad but because her legs felt like jello from all the waves of pleasure. She barely had time to react before he threw her on the bed and grabbed her hands, she felt the panties come off or they were roughly pushed to the side either way she squirmed at the action and before she knew it he slammed into her hard. The only thing she could think of to say came out in a strangled cry along with a moan as she shivered at the action of his rock hard cock fulfilling her from back to front hitting her exactly where he needed too. When he didn’t thrust or move she bucked against him trying to make him move and let out another moan when he finally did.

“Jackson.” She finally managed to moan out as he began to move the sensations filling her when he pulled out and puled back in roughly. She repeated the words over and over and screamed out in pleasure when he pushed into her ass crying out in pain and pleasure looking up at him, while he fucked her there she couldn’t help it relenting finally. “You’re in control, you own me. I won’t.” She finally relented looking up at him as he slammed back into her pussy and continued to assault her and before she knew what was happening she broke again coming against the sheets from him hitting her clit and then around him moaning. “Jackson.” She said not even sure if it was coherent when she did or not as her entire body began to shake and shiver when the orgasm finally ripped through her.

Jackson kept pumping as he saw her creaming on his dick and shaking uncontrollably as he began to scream out in pleasure he burst three powerful cum shots inside of his wife. He collapsed on top of Dani as he looked at his wife undoing the cord still fucking her while they finished making love. He laid inside of her not moving letting himself shrink inside of her as he slid out finally he laid beside her and leaned down and kissed her lips. “You alright? I wasn’t too rough was I?” He asked smiling knowing he had put it down. Dani hadn’t said much she looked in shock in a good way. “Baby you alright?” He said looking in her eyes.

Dani just let go not caring if she broke his rules when she had came or not she was in too much pleasure to care if she did. The waves rolled over her while she felt him fucking her through it and finally heard him scream out and cum inside of her and she jerked again as another wave hit she felt the cord slip off her hands and reached up over her head grasping her hands in his while they continued to move. She looked over at him when he leaned down to kiss her finally pulling out and it took her a moment to think of what to say. “You’d never hurt me.” She said reassuring him as she leaned up to kiss him before pulling back looking at him. “I may have to be a brat in here more often if that is the fucking reward.” She said looking at him again before kissing him feeling him wrap her in his arms.

*********
5 months later

Stepping out of the squad car Devin looked around the lake first week in June was always seeming to have shit happen crime went up. From petty theft to burglary and despite shit with Ronan drugs too so to get the call out to Lake Everest was a surprise on the homicide side of things he and Jon hadn’t been called out that much till today. The call had come into dispatch that a fishing boat and found what looked like or appeared to be a body floating near the south end of the lake. Right now the trolling boat was out be could see it as Jon got out of the car and dispatch radioed in that they had a body on board. He closed the door to the car made sure his badge was displayed and well as his side arm as he began to walk up the path to the pier he spotted Miranda and Zach already on the boat. He trusted the cops on the trolley to have got photos of where they found the body they couldn’t actually process it out on the water though. He watched Jon’s every step they still worked together but things have been tense since Skye’s encounter at the hospital with near death enough that he and Merci just simply didn’t talk about it between them. Once they approached the boat he saw Miranda shift her feet for a moment and then just shot it to her and Zach straight.

“So do we have a dead body that we are sure is a homicide? We had those two college idiots that came out on the lake a few weeks ago in the middle of that crazy windstorm that happened and luckily they were found but I know at least one other person never came back that day.” Devin said remembering the incident a few weeks ago, while lake Everest was amazing most of the time when the wind kicked up it was dangerous and could turn into ocean like waves in an instant. There had been an entire warning about it from the sheriff’s department. Normally the sheriff’s department handled things like highway crashes, lake incidents and what not so for them to call in homicide and the police department meant that it had to be serious and they had noticed something was amiss with the body for them to call them all out and start to tape up the pier and the boat from public access. “Are you guys ever going to actually talk again?” Devin said looking between Miranda and Jon when no one said anything and instead he turned to Zach shaking his head. “So what do we actually have?” He finished wanting to throw his hands up at the Harrison siblings.

Zach looked at Devin and the dick. Ever since the truth about Miles came out Jon had been a big dick to everyone but Devin. Their connection wasn’t severed but as far Zach was concerned Jon Harrison died the moment he found out he had a son that he couldn’t have. Without a second to breathe he took a deep breath. “Remember the wedding from hell? Also known as my cousin’s wedding well that was the last time Dimitri Kavanaugh was seen. Well the fisherman just unearthed the body of a dead prince. Not only that he was weighed down by a fucking anchor. That’s crazy right?” He walked with them on the fisherman boat and looked at Devin, Jon, and Miranda. “We were all sure this is Dimitri also because of that tattoo. It was mentioned in Tamara’s rape information from New York. This is the prince and he was tied down and thrown into Lake Everest to never be seen again. Honestly I wish he didn’t surface.” Zach said looking at Dimitri’s blue skin. “We can always throw his ass back in?”

Jon looked at Devin and his face was red from anger. They were all acting so strange back on Dani’s wedding day. They said Dimitri just let them go and he just got away. Jon knew men like Dimitri he was SVU and they just didn’t walk away. With a glare he nodded his head. “Even though he was scum and deserved whatever happened to him. He has been found and we have a job to do. Devin? Wasn’t Selina, Tamara, and Bliss stalked by him that night at Jackson and Dani’s wedding?”

Devin looked at Zach and then over at Jon he had his way he’d toss Dimitri’s ass back overboard for what he did to Selina and Tamara too. Jon may not have been talking to the Fraiser’s and Braden after all that shit but he was still friends with them that didn’t change for him. Braden had went a little nuts asking Dani to ask Jon what she did but he got it, given how often they saw rape case go unsolved and prosecuted. He looked at the blue body that was starting to rot from exposure and the tattoo was barely visible on the forearm but more that he saw the royal ring that was on his finger and knew it was Dimitri. Jon was right despite everything they were all cops and they all had a job to do as he lifted up the tarp while a tech handed him some rubber gloves as he watched Miranda do the same. He saw the holes as he saw a few more officers approach the scene.

“We all know he was at the wedding or at least was spotted there. We have statements from that night and the week after.” Devin said knowing that someone was lying now between Bliss, Selina and Tamara, hell Simon too but he had collaborated the girls story meaning something else happened. Something he wasn’t sure he actually wanted to solve and he looked over at Jon and Miranda. “Bullet holes looks to be six maybe eight.”

Miranda looked at Jon and over at Zach nothing had changed in the last five months if anything it was worse Jon was barely speaking to her parents and pretended like she didn’t exist. She had no idea where his head was at with Skye anymore or what they were even doing and honestly she was worried about both of them, which was shocking. It hurt because she missed her brother and she knew that Quinn missed her uncle, but she had tried everything KC had tried everything and it was no use. When she and Zach had arrived first she looked at the body and knew it was Dimitri and she wanted to forget about the wedding from hell and the events leading up to it and him showing up on the lake was stark reminder that it wasn’t over. She looked cautiously at Jon he opened this can of worms with this case with those women it could get ugly again bullet holes or not.

“I think we can all agree he was shot who know maybe he took a walk around the wrong side of town and Ronan took care of him or one of the other families.” Miranda said seeing that no one was believing what she was saying. Going after Selina again would feel wrong, hell going after Tamara worse and then Bliss who had been through hell and back with the dead man in front of them. “All I’m saying is maybe for once we let this one slide.”

“I’m not letting shit slide Miranda.” Jon said, looking at Dimitri’s corpse. Devin had him a pair of gloves as he looked at Zach. “We can all say that Tamara, Selina, and Bliss went through hell because of this monster. I can also agree that they are lying about what happened at the wedding. Simon scared off Dimitri? I think that was the story which is almost laughable because this psycho fought plenty of men and women and Simon was the one he was afraid of? Look this man has been shot at least eight times I’m counting six bullet holes that means someone who hated him very much shot him. Nobody shoots anyone seven and eight times.” He said pointing the bullet wound he found. “Thanks for calling the detectives in Zach, we’ll take the case over. If you would like to do something for me call Greer LeClerq and release a statement that Dimitri Kavanaugh body was found.” Jon said looking at Zach.

“Have you lost your fucking mind?” Zach said looking at Devin. “You are going to press and we don’t even have any suspects?”

“Wrong, I have four immediately. Simon Rutherford, Tamara Wright, Bliss Kincaid, and Selina Delacroix.” They all looked at him and he saw Devin’s face and he felt his rage boiling.”Funeral or not I don’t care if they are my top suspects right now. Now I’m the lead detective newly appointed and I said call Greer and set up a press conference. Let’s see who squirms first.” Jon said looking at Zach. “Are you two disobeying my orders?” He stared at Miranda.

Devin looked over at Jon seeing how abrasive he was and inwardly almost cursed that he got the lead detective position then again he had turned the position down too much damn paperwork. So he’d let Jon take and he took ou this phone sending a text to the news stations best reporter as much as Jon was abrasive he was right you wanted to out a rat from the barn you sent in cats, you wanted to oust a murderer you put the heat on them. “I hope to God you are right about this.” Devin said showing Jon the text on the scoop he had send out and he looked up at the rain clouds rolling in and then at his watch he had a funeral he needed to get to.

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