(Authors Note: This chapter isn't going to go deep into detail, as I wanted to just skim over and get this to where it needed to be so I could move forward from where I originally left off. Allow me to apologize in advance and hope I touched on enough happenings to not leave too many questions. Thanks)
In another part of the Galaxy
Tevin sat there with tears running down his face. He did not dare make a sound as he knew he was not supposed to be there. He suddenly felt cool air blow over his face and he looked in that direction. There, a way out. He silently crawled over to the air vent and loosened the vent cover, crawled inside, pulled the vent cover back into place and started to crawl.
He found a section of the vent pipes that were away from everyone. He sat, wrapped his arms around his legs and cried. He loved his father so much. This was supposed to be a good job. A job to get them back on their feet after his mother died a year ago. He would not have been in the computer room if his babysitter would not have bailed on them at the last minute. He could not believe what he saw. His mind tried to block the site of his father being killed right before his eyes, but he knew he had to remember, he had to tell someone.
He angrily wiped at the tears and tried to get his bearings. He needed to make it to their living quarters and figure out how to get to Earth. He started to crawl again and finally found markings that he was looking for. Slowly moving through the air vents, he made it to the housing section. He listened to make sure no one was around and quietly moved the vent cover out of this way, and then crawled out of the vents and replaced the cover.
Tevin looked around trying to figure out which way he had to go to get to his and his father's living quarters. Finally getting his bearing, he was able to move in the right direction. Tevin found himself in front of the door to their quarters. He stood on his tip toes and reached as far as he could. At only four feet tall at the age of 'almost ten', as he insisted on being called, he was able to just barely touch the palm screen to be able to enter their room. He quickly got inside and let the door close and lock behind him.
He looked around and then froze. Sitting at his father's desk was the man that was sitting next to his father in the computer room. They just stared at each other, "How....how did you get in here?" Tevin asked, backed up towards the door, and then swallowed hard, "What do you want?"
Davis Reilly looked at the young boy and couldn't help marveling at how much he looked like his father. In front of him stood an almost ten year old boy who looked more like he was eight. Davis knew they had a hard life but the man he fell in love with cherished his son. Tevin's father, Cian, did everything he could to feed his son before he got the job here, yet he could still tell Tevin was undernourished. The only thing giving away he was older was the gap between his front teeth was just starting to close up, he had long arms and fingers, and ears too big for his head. His ears were real noticeable due to the short, almost military hair cut administered to his dark brown, almost black hair. As the dark green eyes rimmed in red looked back at him, Davis could not help but let his own tears fall down his face.
Tevin knew Davis since he and his father usually ate meals with him and sometimes went places with the man. Yet he was afraid, afraid of what the man was going to do. He saw his father murdered again and shut his eyes tight for a moment. His mind raced with questions; 'Who could he trust?', 'Why was Davis really here?'. He felt the step stool behind his knees and knew it would only take a second to jump up, press his hand on the palm pad to open the door, and run.
Deep inside him though, deep in his chest where the pain was greatest, something started to touch the pain from the outside of him. Tevin, through his own tears, really looked at Davis. His mind raced again with images of his dad and Davis laughing, hugging each other when they thought Tevin was not looking, and the times when Davis smiled at him. Tevin always felt a calm come over him when Davis was around and he was starting to feel it again. When Tevin saw the tears start to fall down Davis' face and he opened his arms, Tevin let go of his fear and ran into Davis' arms and loudly wailed over the loss of his father. "Why..." sniffling a coughing, "Why did he kill my dad?"
Davis rocked the boy, "He did it in a fit of rage. I knew he could be vicious and cold, but we never thought he would do something like that." Davis held Tevin tighter, "Your father would never have taken this job if he thought that he, or you, would have come to harm." Davis cried on the boys shoulder's, "It was a computer job for crying out loud. People don't get killed working with computers."
The two sat there and cried until they could pull themselves together, "A week ago I got orders to transfer back to Earth. Your father got the same orders. He was going to tell you tonight and pack the two of you up." Davis started to explain to Tevin, "So, how about we get off this ship and get out of here together? We would just need to get you packed up and find your flight ticket." Davis hugged Tevin for another second before he felt Tevin start to pull away from him, "What do you think Tevin? Would you like me to get you out of here and try to get the both of us to somewhere safe?" Davis asked as he watched the emotions run across Tevin's face, and he waited, with his breath held, for Tevin's response.
Tevin looked up at Davis in shock. His father had told him that he had a big surprise for him tonight, but would not tell him what is was, only that they were going on an adventure. Tevin looked at Davis and considered what he knew. He thought of the time his dad spent with this man, how his dad trusted him and always told Tevin that if he needed someone while his dad was at work, he could always go talk to Davis. After several moments of inner turmoil and just staring into Davis' eyes, Tevin felt the knot in his solar plexus settle, he started to feel calmer in this man's arms so he nodded yes, he would go with him.
Davis hugged Tevin to him again, "Good, then let's get you packed up and find your travel voucher." Davis moved Tevin off his lap, so the two of them could start to search. Tevin ran over to a hutch in the room, opened a cabinet door, pulled out a hidden drawer and found the voucher before Davis could even begin to start looking. Tevin turned and pointed to the papers in the drawer, since he had a good idea where his dad hid important papers.
Davis found Tevin's birth certificate and other important papers, along with his father's will. He packed it all up and helped Tevin pack all his clothes. Davis did not say a word when Tevin packed some things of his dad's that he wanted to keep; photos, awards, some jewelry and more paperwork that Tevin found.
Together they went to Davis' room and Davis packed. Tevin stayed with Davis that night. From the exhaustion of the day, and after a hot meal and shower, Tevin passed out, sound asleep. The next morning they ate breakfast and boarded the craft that would take them to Earth. Neither knew that they were both thinking the same thing; find the Sabre family to warn them of the danger. Davis knew he had to move quickly when they landed on Earth and do everything he could to protect Tevin.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
The sun was starting to peak through the windows as Jackie groaned and stretched. He smiled as memories of the fun they had the night before played through his head, then he frowned as he remembered that Brody, Colton and Clayton were leaving this morning. He again stretched, groaned and finally threw off the covers before making a beeline toward his shower.
In the other rooms, everyone else was doing the same thing. Soon everyone met up in the dining room to a hot breakfast. "You have about two hours to visit before we need to leave guys." Al Fredrickson said to his boys. Everyone nodded and after helping clear the breakfast dishes they headed outside.
Talon led them to the maze. He started to lead them through the maze until they got to the center, where they could all sit on benches placed there. There were still a few flowers in bloom at this time of year. "I wish you guys could be here for Halloween. We could have so much fun still."
Brody sat down next to Talon while Ulee, Colton and Clayton were chasing each other around. Jackie sat on another bench and just kicked back and watched everyone.
Brody smiled at Talon, "Yeah, that would be great, but I think we need to get home. Grandpa is wanting to get back and..." Brody shrugged, "I feel the need to be there. I can't explain it but we need to get settled at home." Brody looked over at his brothers, "and they need to get home." Brody looked up at the sky and then smiled, "and there is nothing like the feel of the cool wind blowing in off of Lake Superior as winter is getting ready to settle in, seeing all the reds, oranges and gold colors in the leaves as they fall, the crisp feel in the air, the smell of the fire in the fireplace. I miss home, Talon."
Talon heard the underlying statement, he knew Brody was also saying that he missed his parents. Talon knew they needed to go home, so they could properly say goodbye, but he was still going to miss his new friend. Talon put his arm around Brody's shoulder's and pulled him into a sideways hug, "I understand, but I'm still going to miss you dude." Talon gave a quick squeeze and then let go, "and you better stay in touch."
Brody nudged Talon, "You bet I will, and the same goes for you, too!"
They sat back, each lost in their own thoughts. What they did not know was that Ulee, Colton and Clayton were having the same conversation. Jackie just listened and watched. He was really happy that everything turned out real well in rescuing his brother's friends.
All of a sudden Brody sat up, he reached into his pocket, and pulled out the broach Jackie gave him, "I think it's time to give this back to you." Brody reached his hand out towards Jackie. "I know you said not to give it back until our granddad was here, and we were boarding the plane for home. You told me to hold onto it until then, but this is so long for now. There is no boarding the plane with you there." Brody looked down at the beautiful broach, "Thank you, all of you, for everything."
Jackie reached out, took the brooch and held it in his hands. A sad smile crossed his face for just a brief moment before he stood up, put the broach into his pocket and gave Brody a hug. "Every minute of it and getting to know you and your brothers was worth it." Jackie then let go of Brody and stepped back. "And I agree with Talon, you better stay in touch."
As Brody smiled and nodded, Ulee and the twins came running into the center of the maze again and reminded the boys that everyone needed to pack and get ready. They all stood and headed back to the house.
Talon went with Brody and Ulee went with Colton and Clayton and helped them pack up the little that they had. The boys all laughed and joked around, trying to hide the sadness in leaving friends they just met.
Chuck came up and got their luggage and took it down to the limo waiting to take them to the airport. Chuck had called the night before and had their plane fueled.
What they did not know was that Ryan and a couple of the guys went to the airport, set up surveillance, and provided security around the plane to make sure it was not tampered with. They even watched it get fueled, so that they knew for sure the plane was not sabotaged in anyway and its precious cargo would make it home.
"Kathryn, thank you so much for all that you and your son's have done for our family." Al took Katie's hand and slightly bowed over it while brushing a kiss to her knuckles.
Katie smiled, "Al, like I said before, we didn't do anything that anyone else would or should have done."
Al laughed, "That is just it, Katie. No one else did anything, your family did and brought my boys home." Al smiled softly, sounded choked up yet stay composed, "and no words can express my gratitude."
Al heard the boys coming down the stairs, "It looks like it is time for us to go. This is not goodbye Kathryn, as I don't say goodbye, this is just a so long and see you again soon. I do believe that our paths will cross again."
Katie looked back at the six boys and smiled, "Oh, I do believe our paths will definitely cross again. We will have to come up north to Michigan and visit your family there." She turned to Al, "and the next time you come down to our area for a visit we will have to make the stay longer so we can show you around and do up the town right."
Al burst out laughing again, "That is a good plan my fair lady." Al then turned and looked over at the boys, "ready guys, it's time to go. Tell your friends goodbye and make sure phone numbers and all your email addresses and home mailing addresses have been exchanged."
Jackie chuckled, "I made sure all that was done, Grandpa Al."
"Good, good. You are a good man, Jackie; your papa would be so proud of you." Then Al looked at Talon and Ulee, and smiled softly, "And he would be very proud of the two of you also. But you Talon, I think you would really give him a run for the money with your penchant for blowing things up."
Everyone burst out laughing as Talon blushed furiously. Everyone walked out onto the porch and waved good bye. At the same time, no one said the word goodbye, they all yelled, so long.
Jeremy watched as the limo left the property. He also knew that Ryan had secured the plane, so he knew he did not have to worry about the family making it home. Jeremy tapped his comm, "Operation Grand Marais is underway. Lift off in approximately half an hour."
From the other end of the comm came a voice that Jeremy only knew from his time in the Tardis, "Operation Grand Marais ready, set and gone. Roger that and out."
Before Jeremy knew what happened the connection was gone. He hoped that the team that was put together to protect the Fredrickson family was ready and in place. But when he watched each of them train in the Tardis, he knew they were good. So, he also knew that he had to let go of this family and leave them in the other team's hands. Now, he needed to concentrate on the Sabre family and their mission. He could not help staying focused, because so far, only small things had happened, he couldn't help feeling that something big was coming, and he needed to be ready when it did.
The Sabre family watched the limo as it made its way down the long driveway until they could not see it any longer. Talon stood there a moment and then sighed, "I'm going to my paint room. There are moments that I want to remember from the past couple days." With that he turned and walked off.
Ulee sighed also, "I'm gonna go game for a bit. Maybe blow some stuff up. Crash a few cars." He shrugged and walked off.
Jackie turned and watched his brothers walk into the house. "Well, if that's the case, then I'm going to go work on a wood project. Do you need anything before I go, mom?"
Katie looked over at Jackie and thought how grown up he had become, she gave him a quick hug, "No, you go ahead and build something. I'm going to go and bake."
With that, each family member went and did something they enjoyed doing to work off stress and think over everything that had happened over the last few days.
Six hours later in Grand Marais, MI
The Fredrickson's private jet took a fly over the Harbor of Refuge and the town of Grand Marais. Chuck flew the boys over their home and went in for a landing on their private runway. All three boys had so many mixed emotions about being home. They wanted to smile and cry, scream in anger and shout in joy.
Chuck brought the plane to a stop, exited the pilot's seat, opened the side door, and lowered the steps. While he was doing that, Al, Brody, Colton and Clayton stretched from the long flight. They slowly exited the plane while other employee's secured their luggage and loaded it into their grandfathers Infinity FX45. The boys walked around for a bit and took in the scent of the lake and crisp coolness in the air. They could tell that snow was not that far off due to the chill wind blowing off the lake.
Al called the boys over, "Boys, our flying time isn't over yet. Come with me, we have one more trip to make."
Brody, Colton and Clayton looked over at their grandfather with confusion on their faces. Al walked them over to a helicopter and told them to climb aboard. In the pilot's seat was Chuck. Once everyone was settled, Chuck called for permission to take off. They flew for a bit and Chuck told Al over the headset that they were at their destination. Another man moved over to the doorway and opened the side door. The three boys started to panic inside, thinking that this man was going to throw them out of the helicopter.
Al reached behind his seat and took out a wreath of flowers. When the boys saw the wreath they scrunched up their faces in confusion and looked at each other and then the open door. Al handed the wreath to Brody, he then reached back again and pulled out two more wreaths, one for Colton and one for Clayton. Each wreath had a banner that said: I love you momma and daddy, rest in peace, love...and then each boys name was at the end.
"I wanted to give you a few moments to say good bye. This is where your boat was blown up and your parents died." Al also had a wreath, he moved forward, allowing the man by the door to secure him into a harness, and then Al threw the wreath out the door while saying "I love you. Your boys are safe now. They are home." Al moved back and motioned for Brody to take his place.
Brody held onto his wreath and cried. He slowly made his way to the door and got set up in the harness. He looked out over the water and let his memories of that horrible day come to the surface. "I did everything I could daddy, momma. I kept us as safe as possible. It wasn't easy, but we made it home with the help of some new friends." Brody paused and wiped his eyes, "You'd really like them. I know you can see them. I miss you so much." He leaned forward just enough to let his wreath go while saying, "I love you."
When Brody moved back, the man surprised Al when he motioned both of the twins forward and produced a second harness. Colton and Clayton nervously let the man secure both of them by the door. They both repeated almost word for word what Brody said, except they added that they did not go blind. They both threw their wreaths out the door at the same time and in unison they also said, "I love you, mamma and daddy."
When they got back to their seats, they finally realized that the man who helped them was their co-pilot. They did not see him when they entered the helicopter. Chuck flew them over the area a few times to let them see their wreaths and say any final words they might need to say. Then he headed back towards shore and landed the helicopter.
When they got off the helicopter, Al went up to the co-pilot to thank him for what he did for the twins. "It was no problem at all, Mr. Fredrickson. I have a twin brother and know how those two feel right now. Twins have a special bond and need times to do things like this together."
Al shook his hand, thanked him again and took his boys to the waiting car. "It is getting too late to go to the cemetery. But I had a headstone placed and had a few of your mother and fathers things buried in the cemetery. I knew we couldn't fly out over the lake every time you needed to talk to them." Al looked back at the boys, "We will go to their grave site tomorrow so you can talk with them whenever you feel you need to be close to them."
The boys thanked their grandfather through their tears. They could not believe what he had done to help them start to deal with their feelings. Even though the pain was still so raw and they hurt so deeply. They cried more now than they had in the past months.
Chuck got into the car, "I called Trudy to let her know we were on our way. She said she would make sure Gladys knew, so she could have dinner on the table when we got to the house."
"Thank you, Chuck, you always think of the little details." Al patted Chuck's leg while Chuck put the car into drive and headed for the house.
When the boys entered the house, a large woman came running up to them, "Oh Master Brody, Master Colton, and Master Clayton, it is so good to have you boys home." She hugged each of them, stepped back and 'tisked' (made a tisking noise with her tongue and cheek). "That will never do. Come, come, let's get those faces washed so you can sit, relax and eat one of Glady's home cooked meals." She started to scoot the boys to the half bath and took over washing their faces.
Colton and Clayton started to laugh, "Gladys, we're not little anymore. We can wash our own faces." They kept giggling as she kept on 'tsking' and clicking her tongue, "I know that Master Colton and Clayton, but I need to see you and do this to know you are really here." She got a hold of Brody, who pulled back some because he was laughing so hard, "Now, now, get that handsome face over here and let Gladys make things better. There we go." When she was done washing their faces she then washed their hands, "There, all washed up now." She started to shoo the boys to the dinning room, where her kitchen staff was bringing out their dinner. "Here we are, sit down boys and take your time eating."
With that Gladys headed back to the kitchen to make sure the dessert was being prepared to her specifications.
The boys walked into the dining room and were immediately grabbed and individually hugged by Trudy, and they noticed another surprise. There in the room were their best friends. Three boys stood facing Brody, Colton and Clayton with big smiles on their faces.
"It's about time you got home, Brody," Xavier exclaimed as he sedately walked up to Brody and punched him in the shoulder. "And the next time you think about getting yourself kidnapped, you better tell them to stop and pick me up. I'm not letting you outta my sight for awhile." That being said, Xavier wrapped his arms around Brody and hugged him, hard.
Brody thought that his best friend was going to break his back, yet Brody hugged him back just as hard. Finally, the two broke apart and when they looked over with embarrassment written all over their faces they noticed that Colton's best friend Dexter and Clayton's best friend Ryan were hugging just as hard.
Al stood back smiling and silently thanked Trudy for making sure his boys' friends were there to welcome them home. He cleared his throat to remind the boys it was time to sit down to dinner. All six boys started to chuckle and took their seats along with Al, Chuck and Trudy. Shortly thereafter Gladys and two of the night kitchen staff came out with dinner and after it was served sat down with the family.
Al would not let talk of the boys time away to be discussed during the meal. Instead, they talked about the summer vacation, plans for school, and what everyone else had been doing to try to get the boys caught up on the goings on of those around them.
Gladys and the staff cleared the table and brought out a giant cake that had "Welcome Home, Brody, Colton and Clayton" written on the top of it. The boys loved Gladys' marble cake and homemade frosting. It was the type of frosting that just melted in their mouths, yet was not too sweet.
Once everyone finished eating, the boys thanked Gladys, and then asked their grandfather if they could be excused. Al nodded and let the boys go and catch up with their friends. Al nodded over to Chuck, who then quietly exited the home and headed down to the beach. He set up a camp fire for the boys since Chuck knew this is where the six boys would want to go. He guarded them from a distance many times when they came here to hang out together.
All six boys arrived at the beach, found a fire already going, blankets set up so they could wrap up against the cold and be warm due to the chill breeze blowing off the lake, since the fall nights were starting to get colder. It was a vast temperature difference from Louisiana, yet to the boys, it was a welcomed change.
They talked long into the night, about everything. Their fears, everything their captors put them through, the rescue, and meeting the Sabre family. Everything that Jackie, Talon and Ulee did for them. They talked about Louisiana, the funeral they watched at school, and the talent show. They told of how they helped the Sabre boys with the lighting for their section of the show and the finale. They laughed and cried, and then laughed and cried some more. Their friends were right there, listening and holding them during their retelling of their experience. Their friends laughed and cried with them.
Then their friends turned the tables and told Brody, Colton and Clayton everything the town did to try to find the trio. The fund raisers and putting out of fliers were constant events. They told the three youngsters of the coast guard searching Lake Superior and bringing in scuba divers to search for them. They went on to tell how no one gave up looking, hoping, and praying for their return.
The three friends also went into great detail about the funeral and how each member of the community put various items, from pictures, jewelry, handmade items and more into the caskets of their parents during the service to remember them by. Nothing was left out, including a retelling of how everyone in their small town showed up to remember their parents in style with tales, laughter, and tears.
Finally exhausted, all six boys put the fire out and headed back to the house to get some sleep. On their way through the kitchen they found six plates of late night snacks and drinks sitting on the table. They each picked up a plate and drink and headed to their rooms. There was no more talk, just the quiet comfort of knowing that they were home, with people that loved them.
Brody, Colton and Clayton did not want to be separated yet, so the boys moved two full sized mattresses together onto the floor, pushed them together, made the beds up on the floor, undressed to their underwear and climbed under the blankets and fell to sleep. Brody's last thought was, 'it is so good to be home, I wonder what's next?'.
Unbeknownst to the boys, Chuck stayed hidden and recorded their chat for their grandfather. While the boys were falling asleep, Al and Chuck listened to the tape. Al got angrier and angrier at the treatment of his grandsons while being forced to relive the death of his daughter and her husband all over again. He wanted the men who did this. 'Now,' he thought, 'to redirect my attention to bringing down the people who did this to my family.'
Al and Chuck sat up for quite a while talking and thinking, making plans and discarding others as to which direction to head next in their quest to find the people responsible for the deaths and kidnapping of his family. It was long after the boys fell asleep before Al and Chuck retired to their rooms for the evening.
Unseen by anyone, in the shadows off the cliffs by the lake, a lone figure silently walked up to another boy. The words, "It is done, sir. And there was no information to obtain from his pea brain," were whispered. The small figure then left just as silently as it arrived.
The boy nodded to himself, and then smiled. 'Good, the private investigator has been dealt with. Too bad we couldn't learn more. But, we will find who was responsible.'
He stood silent vigil into the night watching over the Fredrickson house. He knew his relief would be there in the morning and that out there, somewhere in the night, was more of his team watching from the shadows. He could not stop the small giggle as he thought of the one team member in the house that no one would see.
Back in Louisiana
Jackie had just finished sanding a piece of wood when Steven walked into the wood shop Jackie had set up. "Hey buddy, feel like hanging in town for awhile?" Steven asked, while leaning against a work table. "It's Saturday and I don't feel like hanging out at home alone." Steven reached over, picked up a hammer and smiled, "we could ask Talon and Ulee to join us and maybe catch a movie or something."
Jackie set down his sandpaper and shrugged, "Sounds good to me, we weren't doing much." Jackie looked around the room, "and it's weird not having Brody, Colton and Clayton around. I hope they make it home alright."
Steven put the hammer down, "Hey, they will make it home alright. But, yeah, it is different now that they're gone." Steven shrugged after glancing around and then smiled, "Now, let's go let your mom know and get Talon and Ulee and get outta here for the day."
Jackie smiled, walked over to the sink and started washing his hands, "Why don't you head on up to Talon's art studio while I wash up here. I'll let mom know what we are planning while you get Talon and Ulee." Jackie laughed, "I'm having you go get Talon first as it'll be more difficult to get his attention."
Steven laughed, "Don't I know it. Okay, see you by the main door once I rouse the other two." He headed out the door as if on a mission while Jackie finished washing up.
A little while later the four boys were heading down the long drive before turning onto the road for the even longer walk into town.
When they finally got there they found most of the kids from school had the same idea. Some of the kids were talking about the talent show and how much they enjoyed it. At a few of the places they stopped, the Sabre boys over heard others talking about the acts people enjoyed. They also heard a few people complaining about it and anything else they could think of to talk down about.
The boys stopped at a park and joined in a game of basketball that was being played. Then they went and had a soda had the fountain shop. They spent the day being boys, rough housing around and just having a good time.
They spotted Renaud sitting at a table at the fountain shop, kicked back in a chair and drinking a soda. Talon saw Therin and Scout playing catch with a Frisbee. Talon couldn't help but stop for a second and just watch Therin, what he didn't know was that Therin, Scout and Renaud were watching, and actually following them. He couldn't figure out why the site of Therin caught his attention, and after a few more seconds, Talon shrugged his shoulders and caught up with his brothers and Steven.
Before they knew it, it was time to catch the movie and it seemed several people had the same thought. Since it was the day before Halloween, they all decided to watch the movie "Saw". It was perfect movie for the season, and the boys loved it while the girls in the theater screamed. As they were leaving, the boys pushed each other around, jokingly making fun of the movie while girls clung to their boyfriends or friends and jumped at every shadow on their way home.
Jackie, Talon and Ulee walked with Steven to his house before heading home. When they got home, they filled their mom in on all they did while they ate dinner and then called it an early night. Each boy went to his own room and just relaxed before falling asleep.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Halloween day dawned and everyone spent the day making last minute preparations. All over town people were finalizing costumes and putting up decorations. People were busy carving pumpkins and making everything pumpkin: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin rolls, and baking the pumpkin seeds.
Haunted houses were going up and scenes set all around to not only frighten the trick or treaters, but to also bring joy and laughter to the children of their parish. In many homes around the parish many grandparents and youngsters were weaving flower wreaths and putting together everything needed for the next day.
Over at Saint Lufthild's soup kitchen, Father Morgan, several of the women, and a few men of the parish were busy making large pots of Gumbo. After the talent show the other night, Father Morgan had many volunteers show up to help. Many of the parents and children told him that the talent show brought to light that they needed to do more for the people of their parish. Father Morgan welcomed them all, and prepared to invite everyone that walked by to come in and warm up with a bowl of Gumbo before going back out.
The evening came and found Jeremy, Tyler, Renaud, Therin, Chad, Travis, Mark, Curtis and Scout following the Sabre boys into town to celebrate and trick or treat. Somehow during the evening, as Jackie, Talon and Ulee were slowly adding friends during their walk, the entire security team also joined in the fun of the evening.
They stopped at the soup kitchen and saw many of the older kids helping out along with their parents serving Gumbo soup. All the boys were welcomed by Father Morgan with open arms. He invited them and many more to the soup kitchen in the morning to eat a hearty breakfast before heading out for All Saints Day. All the boys had to decline as they would miss this All Saints Day since they had to go to school.
Everyone broke apart at the end of the night, friends walking friends home. The Security team for the Sabres walked home with them. No one thought anything of it as they all said good night. The security team broke up into their designated watch teams and took their places as needed.
Monday, November 1, 2004
Early in the morning several of the women and men from the parish showed up at the Saint Lufthild's soup kitchen in the hopes of serving many people a hearty breakfast. They started by frying several pounds of bacon, donated by a local butcher, in large cast iron skillets. Once the bacon was cooked they set it in the serving pans to keep it hot.
Next, in cast iron skillets they prepared Couche couche also known as cush-cush (a basic corn meal dish, blended with anything you pleased). The youngsters that didn't go to school set about putting eating utensils together and putting butter and cane syrup on the tables so people could add what they wanted to the cush-cush to taste.
People started to arrive and they were able to add bacon or ham, eggs, and good chicory coffee to complete the meal. As people finished eating, ladies were waiting to supply flower wreaths they made for this day. Several people started a parade and made their way to the cemeteries where their family was buried. The families spent the day cleaning and white washing head stones while telling tales to the youngsters with them about the family member they were honoring. They placed the flower wreaths at the graves.
Father Morgan headed to the unknown graves and the graves of the people who no longer had family. He had spent time finding something about each and every person so he could honor them on this All Saints Day. On this day he didn't find himself alone as he was in years past. Today many of the homeless accompanied him and assisted him while he told their story to honor them. Father Morgan felt like he finally became a member of the Parish.
As Jackie entered the school, he heard his named hollered. He turned and saw one of his friends running to catch up to him.
"Have a good day!" Jackie told his brothers, as he turned to wave at Steven.
Steven caught up and said, "How was your weekend? My parents wouldn't let me go out for trick or treat. They said I was too old for that. What about you?"
Jackie grinned and said, "I tried to get out of it. But, I took my little bro's and we had a blast. Got lots of candy. I brought some with me. We'll share at lunch, dude."
"Cool!" Steven said as he slapped Jackie on the back as they entered their portion of the school.
"Jackie! Oh Jackie, wait for me!" Jackie heard a female voice yelling after him.
Groaning, Jackie whispered to Steven, "Why can't Lily just leave me alone? I am so mad at her for dating that Bruno character. Would she listen to me? Oh, no she wouldn't, her girlfriends knew better."
Steven laughed, "Dude, you just need to forgive her. Man, we have all been friends for like forever."
"Yeah, I know. But damn dude, how could she do that, just ditch us like that? If she wants to be a slut, she can do it away from me." Jackie spat out.
"Dude, what is your problem! You never insult anyone." Steven looked at Jackie in shock.
"She has dated one, repeat, one guy and you are making her sound like she sleeps around." Steven added while shaking his head.
Jackie rubbed his hand over his face just as Lily caught up to them. "Hi Jackie! Did you have a good weekend. I saw you in town with your brothers. You sure looked good as a pirate!"
"Ah, yeah, thanks Lily. We had a great time. How about you?" Jackie flashed a fake smile that Steven just didn't understand.
"It was alright. It would have been better if I could have hung out with you." Lily smiled up at Jackie.
Jackie looked down at her, and when he looked back up, said, "I think this is your class. See ya around, Lily." Jackie grabbed Steven's arm and started to drag him further down the hallway towards their classroom.
Lily stood there with a stunned look on her face since Jackie had never been so blunt before. She entered her classroom wondering if anything she said or did was wrong.
Steven just glared at Jackie and jerked his arm out of Jackie's grip. Between gritted teeth, Steven wondered, "What is your problem today?"
Jackie stared at his friend and said, "I'm just not with it. I have some things on my mind and the last thing I need right now is to try to deal with a wishy washy girl that can't make up her mind. I'm not ready to forgive her yet."
Shaking his head, Steven said, "When you are ready to talk about things, you know you can always talk to me, dude. Dwelling on problems isn't going to solve them."
Sighing Jackie replied "I know. I just don't know what I can do. You know, so many people have tried everything, and there still aren't any answers."
"I know Jackie, but maybe it is time to let it go," Steven whispered, afraid of how his friend would react.
"Let it go. Let it go!" Jackie said loudly, then smashed his teeth together so hard that his jaw started to hurt.
Steven threw his hands in the air and took a step back, "Alright, alright man. I know you won't, but don't take your attitude out on me. I'll do what I need to do to keep you half way decent during school."
Steven turned and started to enter their classroom. Jackie stepped up next to him and whispered, "You're right, I'm sorry. This thing is just really getting to me and I feel as if I have to do something. I was up all night trying to think of something, anything, and I guess I need more sleep. We cool?"
Steven smiled as they sat down at their desks, "Always Jackie, what are friends for?"
Tyler stood back and witnessed Jackie being rude for the first time. He saw Lily perform during the talent show and at first was confused as to why Jackie was being so rude to her. When Tyler caught Jackie's surface thoughts, he understood how Jackie felt betrayed by his best friend. Then he heard Steven talking to Jackie and knew that Steven would help Jackie come to terms with everything.
Later, at lunch, Jeremy, Therin and Tyler watched Jackie and Lily come to a truce and then Steven and Jackie head off to P.E.. Tyler had to get to PE also as he was in their class. The day was pretty quiet at school without any problems.
Renaud, Chad and Scout watched as Jackie, and later Talon and Ulee made their way to the dojo after school. They knew that the boys religiously practiced. When the boys left the dojo they noticed Ulee's limp was more pronounced than usual and hoped the boy wasn't hurt. They didn't know about his injury and breaking his leg when he was four so they just assumed that he worked too hard or fell wrong while practicing.
As dinner was finishing the news came on. They were watching the first ever televised Clan Short trial. "You know, Jackie, you could be a clan leader." Talon whispered to his brother, as he didn't want to talk over the news.
"Nah, I ain't no leader, Talon. Let's leave that to the pros. Like that boy there... he has his act together." Jackie shrugged and didn't say anymore.
"Right, don't you know that it's the ones who think that they won't make good leaders, or really don't want the position, are the ones that are best at it." Talon whispered.
Jackie chuckled, "Well, I know I'm not a leader."
"Oh, come on. Give yourself a bit more credit. I bet they look for the ones who either don't think they will be good leaders or just don't want to admit they might be. You wouldn't let the power of the position go to your head Jackie," Talon glanced at Jackie, "you would make sure to weigh every decision and make the best one, even if not everyone agrees with it."
Jackie just sat back and shook his head. He didn't even bother to reply to his brother.
Across the street, the security team was glued to the television while asking Dalieass a lot of questions.
Jeremy smiled, because he liked the way the kids in the Las Vegas Division thought. He intensely watched the first ever televised Clan court proceedings.
Tyler went out to check the perimeter of the Sabre house. They chose to the leave the evening watch to Daileass after their last check of the grounds.
Jackie just couldn't sit there for long. He kept looking around and feeling even more lost. "I'm going to bed now, good night, mom," he said while kissing her cheek.
She ran her hand over his check and whispered, "It's going to be alright, Jackie. You need to let it go and move on."
Jackie jerked back away from her touch and snapped, "How can you say that? I depended on you to do something, to stay strong and you're going to just let it go!" Jackie turned around and stormed to his room.
Katie sighed and watched as her eldest son stormed away. Thinking to herself, 'I wish I could do more. I'm lost also, Jackie. I can't get any answers, not the ones we need.' She sadly shook her head and held back the tears.
Talon and Ulee just stayed silent and moved next to each other. "Talon" Ulee whispered.
Talon looked down at Ulee and whispered back, "Yeah, bro?"
"Will you sleep with me tonight? I don't want to be alone." Ulee quietly asked.
Hugging his little brother closer to him. "Of course!" Talon whispered back.
In his room, Jackie angrily changed into sweats and sat on the window seat in his room. He stared out the window into the dark night, looking, hoping, and praying for the help he would need. He cracked the window open to breath in the night scents to try to calm him again. He sighed, thinking to himself, 'I felt so much better after the practice. I really need to remain focused. It is just getting so hard, not knowing is tearing me up inside.'
Standing out by the swamp, hiding in the trees where he couldn't be seen, a boy watched Jackie sitting in the window. He has been watching Jackie grow up. Sighing, he started his nightly ritual of watching and protecting the home.
Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Jeremy, Tyler and Therin watched as Talon and Ulee chatted outside in the hallway before class. They couldn't tell what was being talked about, but they saw Talon smile and his dimples come out as he rubbed his knuckles on the top of Ulee's head.
Everyone took off for their classes. Jeremy was in Talon's computer class and watched as Talon put in his own CD and was looking at something. Jeremy watched him pour over information and write notes. What Talon didn't know was that Jeremy could see his screen and was also taking notes. Some things were starting to make sense and Jeremy felt he needed to help somehow.
During lunch, Jeremy was telling Tyler about the computer class when Therin told them what he knew about their father disappearing. Travis, Mark and Curtis showed up and added what little rumors they had heard, but they admitted it was just rumor.
All of a sudden the table tensed as they saw one of the football players walking over towards Jackie's, Steven's and Lily's table. They saw his hand slam into the back of Jackie's head and then Jackie turn in his chair. Jeremy whistled when he saw the calm that settled over Jackie. "Damn, he has good control." Jeremy looked around the table, then added, "We won't be needed unless more people step in, Jackie has this under control." Jeremy and the rest of the table sat back and watched, not Jackie, but everyone else in the lunch room in case they needed to step in and help.
The only one who kept his eye on Jackie was Therin; he knew everyone else was watching the lunch room, so he watched Jackie. The only thing he saw was Bruno threaten and harass Jackie, and Mr. Thatcher stopping everything before it even got started.
Steven could see Jackie watching everyone and everything all at the same time. He knew that Jackie was ready for an attack. He also knew that Jackie wouldn't strike first, so he watched and waited. Ready to jump in if Jackie needed help.
Just as Bruno was getting ready to take a swing, Mr. Thatcher, who was the lunch room monitor, walked up and asked "Is there a problem here, boys?"
Jackie smiled, his eyes never leaving Bruno, "No, I don't have a problem. But it appears that Bruno does."
Mr. Thatcher saw everything that was happening while approaching and looked over at Bruno.
"Got no problem, just letting the swamp rat know that I don't like him poaching in on my territory." Bruno stated plainly.
Mr. Thatcher raised his eyebrows, and seeing Lily shaking, he realized what was going on. He calmly said, "Last I knew women where not property nor territory. Also, derogatory names are not acceptable in this school. Come with me to the office young man. I do believe this conversation is over."
Mr. Thatcher then looked over at Jackie, Steven and Lily, saying, "Lunch is almost over, start heading to your next class." He turned and escorted Bruno from the lunch room while everyone that had gathered around started to move off to their next classes.
As Bruno was walking away, he turned and yelled, "This isn't over rat."
The students could hear Mr. Thatcher tell him to keep moving, because his words were just getting him into more trouble.
Therin and the rest of the guys watched as Mr. Thatcher escorted Bruno out of the lunch room.
Jackie turned and looked at Lily. Shaking his head, he had to ask, "What ever possessed you to date that jerk?"
While trying to stop shaking, she looked at Jackie and simply said, "Peer pressure. Notice, I don't have many friends anymore. They all deserted me when I broke up with that jerk."
Jackie really looked at her for the first time. He saw a petite little thing that reminded him of the fairies in stories that his mom read to him. He saw her shaking, so he gently put his arm over her shoulder to calm her. He then lowered his voice as he asked, "Why, what happened Lily?"
She looked up, and with tears in her eyes, whispered, "He got mad when I wouldn't sleep with him. He hit me. When I got away and ran to my 'so called friends', they just told me that that is what I get for being such a goody two shoes. See, now that we are in high school, they think we should just give it away, and I don't. I want to wait until I'm married, and that is a long way off. They said I let them down and I could just get lost if I was going to be a wet blanket and not give out."
Jackie hugged her then and told her, "Well, I don't see you that way. You got two friends here that will watch you and protect you from now on, Lily. Don't worry, you aren't alone anymore."
Steven pulled her into a three way hug and let her know that he agreed with what Jackie just told her.
She smiled up at them and the three friends walked out of the lunch room, with Lily in the middle, being shielded by her two friends.
Finally, school was out and everyone headed home. Renaud and Scout from the security team were set up and ready when the Sabres pulled up to the house. The two of them saw Steven show up, and then Lily a little while later.
Jeremy, Tyler and Therin got there to help Renaud and Scout watch over the Sabre family. While the rest of the security team Chad, Travis, Mark and Curtis weren't coming over that night as their parents said they had to do homework.
They all watched Jackie, Steven and Lily leave the house and start walking towards the dock. "Where are they going?" Jeremy asked, as none of the Sabres had spent much time by the dock. Then he mumbled, "Ah, shit, how are we going to follow them?" as Steven got into the pirogue and then helped Lily in with Jackie following.
The five scrambled, trying to figure out how to follow them when Therin whispered, "Wait, here come Talon and Ulee." Everyone froze, so they wouldn't be spotted and watched as Talon and Ulee went up into the treehouse.
"Therin and Scout, you stay here and watch them, come on guys, we need to follow those three somehow." Jeremy quickly gave his orders, and they moved out.
They followed the edge of the swamp very carefully, watching for alligators and snakes. "Damn, I just got soaked." Jeremy grumbled while shaking his foot.
Just then a pirogue showed up next to them, "All you had to do was ask, Jeremy." Daileass sniggered over their comms.
"Well, you could have sent that before I got all wet." Jeremy hissed into his comm.
"And ruin all the fun of you trying to run in the swamp, no way!" Daileass chuckled, then added very seriously, "but you better get moving or you will lose them."
They boys got into the pirogue and Renaud took over, since he had been in one before. Renuad was shocked to find an ultra silent motor attached to the pirogue. He was used to having to use a pole to push the small boat.
He didn't know these waters, but with Tyler skimming for surface thoughts, they found their way and were just barely able to stay out of sight. They saw Jackie pull up and then jump out to pull the pirogue up onto land, so Renaud maneuvered over and did the same.
"You know what, the swamp is a really creepy place," Jeremy whispered, as the team started to inch their way around. His eyes were darting everywhere, watching for snakes, alligators and anything else that could creep up on them.
Renuad giggled, "It is just water, trees, moss, and swamp life. You get used to it the longer you live here. Let's keep moving or we will lose them." Renaud then motioned for them to move forward.
Jeremy, Tyler and Renaud inched their way forward and got into place just as Jackie finished setting out a blanket that they kept in the pirogue. The three friends sat down and Jackie said, "First I want you to know why I brought you here."
And that is how Chapter Three ended. I am now ready to take off from where I originally left off over a year ago. So, take a moment and re-read chapters 1, 2 and 3 if you would like, I hope I covered enough that you won't need to. Chapter 12 will pick up where chapter three and chapter 11 ended!
Thank you for staying with me during this little side trip. Hugs