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  1. A new day, a new me part 2
  2. A new day, a new me part 3
  3. A new day, a new me part 4
  4. A new day, a new me part 5
  5. A new day, a new me part 7
  6. A new day, a new me part 8
  7. A new day, a new me part 9
  8. A new day, a new me part 10
  9. A new day, a new me part 11
  10. A new day, a new me part 12
  11. A New Day, A New Us part 1
  12. A New Day, A New Us part 2
  13. A New Day, A New Us part 3
  14. A New Day, A New Us part 4
  15. A New Day, A New Us part 5
  16. A New Day, A New Us part 6
  17. A New Day, A New Us part 7
  18. A New Day, A New Us part 8
  19. A New Day, A New Us part 9
  20. A New Day, A New Us part 10
  21. A New Day, A New Us part 11
  22. A new day, a new me part 1
  23. A new day, a new me part 6
  24. A New Day, A New You part 1
  25. A New Day, A New You part 2
  26. A New Day, A New You part 3
  27. A New Day, A New You part 4
  28. A New Day, A New You part 5
  29. A New Day, A New You part 6
  30. A New Day, A New You part 7
  31. A New Day, A New You part 8
  32. A New Day, A New You part 9
  33. A New Day, A New You part 10
  34. A New Day, A New You part 11
  35. A New Day, A New You part 12
  36. A New Day, A New You part 13
  37. A New Day, A New You part 14
  38. A New Day, A New You part 15
  39. A New Day, A New You part 16
  40. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 1
  41. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 2
  42. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 3
  43. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 4
  44. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 5
  45. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 6
  46. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 7
  47. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 8
  48. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 9
  49. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 10
  50. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 11
  51. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 12
  52. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 13
  53. A New Day, The Other Me chapter 14

A New Day, The Other Me chapter 14

Categories Fiction, Death, Non-Erotic, Romance

Author: P.O.I.

Published: 06 April 2018

  • Font:

Two days till graduation and I’m just writing my last letter, the most important one really. Some will understand, some won’t, their thoughts on the matter don’t. Matter that is. The letters are in Roberta’s hands now, she has her tasks and even though she doubts my reward she is ready to do my bidding regardless.

Carlos: Months Earlier

Things are actually going good with Abby and me and it’s kinda weird really since Guy did it all and hasn’t done shit to wreck it. He’s actually helped me out more than once and now he’s back at school and I’m just waiting to see what he’s going to want when he decides to call in the debt, my debt. Speak of the devil.

“Hello Carlos, how are things today,” Guy greets me with a smile, a big fucking smile.

“Good man, things good with you,” I ask and pray shit hasn’t turned and he’s just fucking with me.

“Things are finally coming together and we’re going to settle your little debt this weekend,” Guy tells me still smiling,” and the good news is once you’re done we’ll be all squared and maybe even attempt to be friends.”

“Really? You’re seriously going to just bury everything after I do whatever I gotta do to square up with you,” I ask and he shrugs a little.

“Sure, why not,” he says it and adjusts his tie, he’s still wearing suits to school.

I watch him walk away and got to think about this a little. Guy wants to settle everything this weekend and then we’re all good but what does he want from me? I can’t really focus on my classes as I think about what I am going to have to do to pay the debt. He’s been nice, too nice really so what does that mean. He’s going to want me to hurt someone in my crew? Nah he’s not wasting time with that. Money? No he has money. I’m stuck all the way into the Union tattoo shop and realize that the Old Man has been talking to me.

“You gonna wake the fuck up and pay attention boy,” the Old Man asks laughing a little at me spacing out.

“Sorry, got some news and I’m trying to get my head around it,” I tell the Old Man and he nods for me to continue,” Remember when I made that deal with Guy and now I’m dating his sister? Well time to pay has come due and I’m just wondering what it is he wants.”

“He told you that you two are settling the debt but didn’t tell you what you had to do,” he asks and I shrug.

“Well he said it’s going to be this weekend so I cleared things so I’d be free to,” I start and the Old Man stops me.

“He’s setting you up,” he tells me very serious.

“I know but he’s not one to do anything so extreme that I can’t walk away from it. Humiliate me, maybe but seriously hurt me or kill me? Nah, that ain’t Guy,” I explain but think for a moment.

“He screwed with your boy Hector right? Knew things about him that he didn’t make public,” Jim asks and I nod a little,” And he’s been kicked around for years all the time watching and learning. Kid he’s going to come for blood, what happens when you get there and he takes too much?”

“He won’t, I’ve talked with his sister,” Abby and I have on more than one date, it’s a little off putting,” He’s a good person, he doesn’t want to hurt people he just wants to help them.”

“That was old Guy, the one you made a deal with has been tortured, stabbed and beaten seven ways to summer and is still kicking around. That boy is hate filled and ready to pop,” he explains and I shake my head,” I know this shit boy, I’ve seen it. Now here’s what you’re going to do.”

Guy Donnelly: Saturday Afternoon, The Weekend

Ever arrive to something early and just sit in pure anticipation? In one of the rare moments of my life I am not only genuinely excited for something and am pacing to pass the time. I made the call to Carlos just before lunch and told him the who, what, where and when so we can settle our deal. I made sure the building I’m in is clear thanks to a little watching from Roberta and now I pace and wait. I must be waiting for an hour when I hear an engine and smile. My suit is a simple two button blue suit with black shirt and red tie, I know classy. I can hear the door and my smile gets even bigger.

“Welcome,” I turn and do not see who I expected,” Mr. Mulligan? What brings you to my little party?”

“Just in the neighborhood and figured I’d keep the peace on your little shindig since you said you needed the space,” he did help arrange the spot for this party of mine,” Why a building on the east half of town?”

“It’s away from everything home turf for everyone and far enough out of the way that my party won’t be bothered easily,” I explain and he nods,” I didn’t quite invite you but you’re keeping up your end of ‘our’ agreement so sit back and relax.”

There isn’t much to sit on so the older Mr. Mulligan leans against a pillar and waits like me only less excitement and pacing. He’s just thinking to himself and I take care to note he’s dressed for the farm today, not a suit or anything formal, must have been passing through? Details that don’t concern my here and now. We continue to wait and the time begins to drag. Where are they? What is holding them up? I’m less anxious now and more frustrated as Mulligan just shifts his weight and leans against a support beam.

No.

He did not!

HE DID.

“You did something,” I ask Mr. Mulligan without looking at him.

“Yes I did,” he says it with no pride or humor.

“You know you’re stepping into my business,” I tell him as he steps towards me slowly.

“Kid you’ve been stepping into mine for too long. Those boys you wanted to play games with? They work for me. They were working for me before who you were became important and they’ll be working for me after yours and mine little discussion today,” the ranch owner informs me.

“You owe me, you said whatever I wanted and now you’re getting in the way. You’re breaking your word,” I tell him in a flat tone.

“Nope, what you really want is for me to not tell your parents and that head shrink you have what you had planned here today. That’s what you really want because the second I do you get locked up in a nice little padded cell and prodded so they can figure out what is wrong with you,” I hear him and I begin to feel my skin crawl.

“You are breaking our deal and your word,” I state again and I can see him shake his head a little.

“No kid I’m saving them and you. You don’t want this, having Carlos bring a gun and his two friends here so you can get whatever sick game in your head played. Once the game is done and someone is dead then what? You just go back like nothing ever happened,” Mulligan either asks or states, I can’t tell which.

“Yes… and maybe get some IHOP too,” I state and smile a little.

“Well it’s not going to happen boy,” and that irks me some,” you’re going to tell me that you want me to not tell everyone what you had planned here today and you’re done with Carlos and his people. They will never come back for you ever again.”

“No, I want Carlos, Hector and Romeo here as instructed,” I tell Mulligan a little angry.

“Not gonna happen, take my deal cause it’s the best you’re gonna get,” he informs me and I shrug,” I’m not playing around here.”

“And you think I am? You say I don’t take your deal and you’ll tell everyone,” I ask and he nods,” Fine, call them.”

“Excuse me,” Mulligan is a little shocked, I hand him my phone.

“You heard me, call them,” I load up my phone book and pull up my step father’s number,” Here is Mr. Delauter. Go ahead.”

“Boy don’t think that your games are going to work with me,” Mulligan looks annoyed but isn’t taking my phone.

“You think this is a game? You think I’m playing? I’m very serious here Mr. Mulligan. Our deal was for whatever I wanted. I didn’t want this today, I need this. Want is something you can continue to exist without and I need to gain closure so either call my family and execute your threat or get the three down here,” I tell him and I’m angry but I’m smiling.

We’re at a stand off, I have the phone and am ready for him to make the call and he’s not taking it. He threatened to expose me and I’m calling his play. We stand awkwardly for a moment before he smirks.

“I don’t have to actually, they work for me, Carlos and his people. They won’t listen when you call anymore, they will be on standing orders not to deal with you. You’ll have to figure out how to get over it without your sick little games,” Mulligan is smiling and ruining everything.

“NO! You do not deny me this. I have suffered too much to let this end,” I state and he steps back.

“Kid it’s over, you’re done,” and he leaves.

We’re done.

LEAVE HIM, HE IS FINISHED.

We can still save this.

NO, HE HAS PLAYED THIS GAME TOO LONG. THEY WILL NOT COME FOR HIM. HE IS DONE WE LEAVE.

I can’t feel my feet, my hands, I can hear my heart beating in my chest. He’s leaving and he’s screwed me. I try to think of something to say something to do but I have nothing. I have to lose.

Mr. Henry Mulligan

I get out of the building and give it a moment. The kid was going to do more harm to my business and employees than I could allow and I had to put a stop to it. Jim was right to make sure shit was run through him and then by me. Yeah he’s all hurt that he didn’t get his chance for revenge but honestly the boy needs to learn that somethings in life you just don’t get. I see him in his suit with his head down finally come out of the building and take a look around, I don’t see that car of his anywhere.

“Hey kid, where are you going,” I ask as Danny, my driver brings the truck around.

The kid doesn’t answer me, he just starts walking away. I turn to my driver and nod towards the kid. It takes Danny a moment to get out of the truck and catch up to the boy, Guy, I remember his name. He is talking to the kid but I don’t know what is being said back. Danny comes back to me shaking his head.

“He wouldn’t answer me, I tried to get him to turn around but he wouldn’t move,” my driver answers me and I stare at the kid.

It takes me a little bit to catch up to Guy as he continues to slowly walk with his head down. I put my hand on his shoulder to stop him but he keeps moving.

“Kid stop,” I have to use some actual strength to stop him from walking.

I have him standing and turn his face up to look at me but there is nothing there. No anger or shock like I was seeing not ten minutes before. Just a blank face and dead blue eyes looking at me with no thought behind them.

“Guy, do you need a ride home,” I ask him trying to figure out what the hell is going on with this kid.

The boy turns out of my grip slowly and continues his slow walk. My driver brings the truck up and gets the door for me.

“What do you want me to do,” Danny asks.

“Nothing, he’s not hurting anyone,” I tell my driver who nods slowly,” Kid’s got to figure it out himself.”

The drive home is routine and peaceful. Jim says that Carlos and his people were kept busy enough. Only issue is Carlos asking if everything is settled with Guy. I give them a yes and think about the difference. One minute happy and expecting then angry as to be expected but afterwards, just nothing in the kid. Being Saturday I settle in for a busy Sunday of work around the ranch which feels good really, it’s not profit but it helps. Monday comes and goes with no real concerns till Jim calls and informs me that Guy wasn’t at school and Carlos was concerned. I tell Jim I’ll do a little checking and call Delauter. He answers on the second ring.

“Mr. Mulligan,” no real sound of friendliness in his voice.

“Mr. Delauter, how is your Monday,” I ask trying to loosen things up.

“Not well but that is not your concern,” he’s quick to cut me out of the conversation.

“Anything I can help out with,” I ask it and hope to Christ I’m don’t know what is going on.

“No there is nothing you can help with here Mr. Mulligan. It’s a family concern not a business concern,” again cutting me out quick.

“Mark after everything that happened I would like to think we have an understanding. If there is something I can do just talk to me and we can work it out,” I offer and wait as I hope he is thinking.

“Well Henry, since you seem insistent to know my son Guy, you remember him,” he asks and I don’t get a chance to reply,” he came home in early on Monday morning a complete mess and he hasn’t said anything. He won’t speak to anyone, he doesn’t look at anyone. He just sits and doesn’t move, the doctor did a reflex test and says he is barely reacting to outside stimuli. Everyone tells me that he was supposed to meet up with my daughter’s boyfriend and they were going to bury the hatchet. When I ask my daughter what happened she doesn’t know and her boyfriend isn’t saying anything. Now is there something I should know about or is this just you attempting to be sociable when I really do not have the time or inclination to be sociable?”

“I was just checking in with my lawyer since I still have you as a lawyer thanks to that boy,” truth be told I didn’t keep my word but business sometimes means breaking deals.

“Well he’s not able to be appreciative now or anything for that matter. I have pressing matters to attend to Mr. Mulligan so I will have to go,” he hangs up his phone on me.

I have to stop and look at my phone for a minute, not really sure what to do here. Best bet, do nothing. Can’t fix the crazy and can’t fix the kid now that the crazy is gone.

Carlos: Wednesday after the ‘Meeting’

“So we have business this weekend since we were prepping the spots,” Romeo asks and I shrug,” Gotta give me something to work with here Carlos.”

“We ain’t got orders yet Rome so settle that shit. When we got orders Carlos will hand them out and then we go to work,” Hector answers for me.

Almost five days since I was supposed to meet with Guy and nothing from him. Abby keeps asking me why I wasn’t there if we were to settle things between us but I can’t tell her that the people I assist in moving firearms across borders didn’t want me to go in.

Now everyone thinks things are great except me cause my girl isn’t really enjoying me not answering her questions. End of the school day and I try to catch Abby but see someone a little more important, her Mom.

“Mrs. Delauter,” I greet her with a smile,” how are things with Guy?”

“No change, I was just getting my son graduated so at least he can have that behind him,” she is hurt but she’s not mad at me.

“I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it to meet with him, I was busy and couldn’t get away,” it’s true mostly.

“Well nothing we can do about it now, it’s not like you were there and did something to cause this,” Mrs. D says it and for once I know my people didn’t do anything, also doesn’t sound like I’m being accused for a change.

I didn’t notice her at first and that’s kind of difficult when you realize that Jenna is the type of girl who can make you forget about true love and remember your best moves. Mrs. Delauter on the other hand does notice her.

“Hello Mrs. Delauter… Carlos,” happy greeting for her, cold as fuck for me.

“Hello Jenna, no there has been no change with Guy,” Mrs. Delauter is quick to answer a question that wasn’t asked.

“Well I’d like to come over, I think I can help or at least I’d like to try,” Jenna offers Mrs. Delauter.

“Well then come by before six this evening, just don’t do anything too off putting alright? I know you feel something towards my son and I don’t understand why he let you back in after the way you treated him,” Mrs. D is laying down the law.

“I completely understand but your son has helped me and I am better for it, the least I can do is try,” I listen to Jenna’s reasoning as to why she wants to help, Mrs. Delauter already agreed.

I wave good bye to Mrs. D as she heads back to her car and as soon as she’s gone I look at Jenna who went from heartfelt speaking to stone faced.

“It’s cool that you want to try to help Guy and his family,” I tell her and now she looks at me with cold hate.

“Silentium mis, mihi non loqueris medium cum veris,” I hear her say something and have no clue what it is.

“What was that,” I ask confused.

“Something I picked up from Guy,” she replies and then just walks away.

I heard Guy speaking something like that before but now Jenna? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Roberta : A few hours later

“Okay Mrs. Delauter told me to help you while she’s out of the room but I’m pretty sure you’re not a doctor or a miracle worker,” I ask the insanely hot red head Mrs. Delauter introduced as Jenna.

“Listen to me Robbi, you were put here by him,” the hot girl Jenna says with authority pointing at Guy,” That means there were instructions. He has a plan, he always has a plan.”

“He didn’t tell me anything except that after that Saturday things would be different and I’d be rewarded. Now he’s a vegetable and I’m waiting for the charity to run out,” I explain keeping my voice down in case Mrs. Delauter comes back.

“Were there letters? Notes? Something on his computer? There is something here that he would have kept close so that in case something happened I could find it,” she explains looking around Guy’s room.

I wish there was something because as good to me as Guy has been I want out. Late night errands watching different spots that have gangbangers hanging out, checking on his girl Sydney aka the one I actually like, keeping track of people coming near him when they think he’s alone. It’s a lot to do and aside from a place to stay and some better clothes I haven’t been given jack shit.

“Where is his phone,” Jenna asks and I snap back to reality.

“What about his phone,” I ask a little confused as Jenna is going through Guy’s clothing from Saturday.

“His cellphone, Guy’s cell phone? It’s not in his clothes,” she is turning out his pockets on the suit.

“He didn’t take it with him, he said he didn’t need the distraction,” I tell her and take the phone out of his desk drawer.

I almost lose a finger as Jenna snatches the phone from my hand and I watch her get frustrated with the lock on it. He kept everything but the game console passworded, I tried to use the computer once and was locked out till he came back. Jenna is about to scream or throw the phone but she stops and a few taps on the screen and she smiles very big.

“Where is it…. where would you keep your back up….,” Jenna asks as she flips through his pictures and emails.

“Maybe it’s not a message,” I try to help and get the ice stare,” He didn’t like typing things out, he either wrote them or spoke to people in person.”

I don’t know what I said but Jenna goes through a few more screens, his phone is way better than any I’ve ever had, but she can’t find anything that helps. She’s frustrated and I’d kill, probably, for the chance to help her let off some steam but I have a very hetro vibe coming off of Jenna and she’s into Guy hard. The Sydney girl loves him but Jenna is like a demon possessed. I’m just puttering around feeling awkward as Jenna fumes over not being able to find anything and then I see the thought hit her. I’m not sure what it is but she goes through his phone again and puts it to her ear, I guess she’s making a call.

“Hello, who am I speaking to…. No you tell me right now who am I speaking to…. Listen to me very carefully, get the one in charge and put him on the phone right now or I’ll show you what fear truly is,” Jenna went from talking to threats in a matter of seconds,” Ask your friend if is face is running and then get the one in charge… Hello sir… you know the number I’m calling from… that’s good because we have a problem and I need you here soon…. Sooner than that…. I’ll be waiting and I’ll take care of introductions.”

I watch her end the call and set the phone down on Guy’s desk. She is thinking but she’s smiling and I don’t put the two together as a good thing. I don’t know how long she stands there thinking but whatever had her attention it’s now all on me and I’d normally like a hot girl looking at me, just not like this.

“Roberta, Robbi for short. He likes you, thinks you have potential. Soon a man will come for him, you’ll know the man when you see him. You will bring him to Guy,” Jenna is giving me instructions.

“Okay but how will I really know if it’s the right person,” I ask and she laughs a little.

“Trust me, you’ll know,” she says then picks up her purse and leaves Guy’s room.

Loretta Delauter: a couple days later

Rosa is in the doorway letting me know that there is a visitor here to see my son, there have been well wishers but nobody outside of a few girls from school have actually come to the house. I head downstairs to see a priest standing in my foyer. He’s not tall but he’s… a little hefty with a very big beard. Along with the standard priest black and white collar he has a simple broad hat in his hands, Rosa is watching quietly from the kitchen.

“I’m Loretta Delauter, Guy’s mother… You are,” I ask curious.

“You’re Guy’s mother,” he smiles big and very friendly,” I’m sorry but a striking woman such as yourself is not what I expected. Pardon me ma’am, I’m Gabriel… Father Gabriel of Church of the Morning Glory in Louisiana.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you Father but I’m not sure how my son knows a man of the cloth from Louisiana,” I ask and he just smiles.

“Well I was coming through a few months back on some cross country mission work and we happened to cross paths. We spoke of many things, family and forgiveness more than anything really,” he says and I think about the time.

“You were advising my son to forgive his family,” I ask and still with the smile.

“Family is important, to your son it is a crucial part of who he is. All I did was help him see that and let him move himself back to safe shores… so to speak,” Gabriel replies and I feel a little better with the odd priest, not much.

“Well I’m glad that you were able to help him but I think now we’re at the ‘God’s hands’ point,” I state and he steps forward.

“I’d like to pray with your son, if that’s alright Mrs. Delauter. The boy is special and while I may not be as flashy as some of the good old boy preachers with their snakes and what not I am a man of faith,” Gabriel offers and I nod, not like he can make Guy worse.

I lead Gabriel to Guy’s room and once the door is open he can see my son and I hear him catch his breath a little in surprise.

“He’s been like this for a week now,” I start but Gabriel stops me.

“Ma’am this I cannot abide, the boy needs help,” Gabriel enters the room and moves to the bed next to my son.

I hear him whispering to himself as he takes a small prayer book out of his coat pocket and finally turns to me.

“Mrs. Delauter… Loretta,” he asks to use my first name and I nod,” Loretta I would like to pray with Guy alone if that is all right?”

“Just for a while, I don’t like to be away from him for too long,” I can but something is odd and I can’t put my finger on it.

I close the door and step away from Guy’s room to find Roberta, my son’s project standing at the top of the stairs staring at me. I smile a little to her and she smiles back, she’s not an unattractive girl and I know Guy is not interested in her so I let this go but if things don’t change soon for my son we will have to figure out her next steps out the door. I make my way down stairs and see Rosa looking upstairs before settling on me with an interested/concerned expression.

“Rosa are you well,” I ask my very good and well paid housekeeper.

“Si Mrs. Delauter… that man… something is wrong about him,” she answers and I nod a little.

“He did seem a little different than our gun carrying Texas pastors,” I joke and she chuckles a little.

“Si Mrs. Delauter, he didn’t carry any snakes with him. Those ones have that Voodoo they love in Louisiana,” Rosa explains a little and I settle in for what could be a long wait.

The girls make it home from school and I explain the van out front and who is visiting with Guy, both girls look at each other with a healthy level of disbelief before returning to their rooms. Hours pass before there is any signs of life but that is what I get in the form of screaming. I race to Guy’s room as the screaming stops and rip the door open to see my son standing and limping a little.

“What did you do to my son,” I almost yell at Father Gabriel.

“My feet were asleep and I stood on them too fast,” Guy answers me and that actually makes sense as the Father chuckles a little.

“I tried to warn the boy that he should take it slow,” the Father jokes as I can see my son a little angry but moving and speaking for the first time in almost a week,” Now I’ll be in the area Guy if you need to talk again but I have a few things to attend to in town.”

“Father Gabriel thank you and thank the lord for what he did for my boy,” I offer praise, I don’t do that often.

“Think nothing of it Ma’am, it was just a little prayer and a good long talk about walking back into the world and doing what needs to be done,” Father Gabriel says exiting Guy’s room.

I help my son steady himself and after a few minutes he’s upright and I have questions. I do however hold onto them and walk my son down the stairs to get some dinner. We get through two full meals worth of food before I open my mouth to speak and Guy begins talking.

“Gabriel left to take care of things, I feel bad I didn’t walk him out,” my son is being thoughtful, this is the boy I know.

“He helped you,” I state and my son nods,” What happened?”

“I was on the wrong side, the wrong team. I tried and when I failed I just couldn’t figure out how someone could just break their word so easily,” it’s vague but I think I know a little about what is going on.

“I know that Carlos was supposed to meet you but he said work got in the way,” I offer what little I know and watch my son’s face darken for just a moment.

“Yeah, I tried to manipulate the situation and he decided that bowing out to his boss and leaving me hang would be alright because he was working,” Guy says it like he’s had these conversations but he was laid up and hasn’t spoken to Carlos.

“So you know what happened with Carlos but Guy… what did they do to you,” I ask and he shakes his head a little and chuckles lightly.

“Physically nothing, they broke their word and like everything else they expect hollow apologies and unsympathies to matter when I was tired of losing the war,” my son is speaking but leaving out details.

“What war,” I have to ask.

“The one for my self respect, my honor, my sanity… that’s what they took from me all these years. I got back a family, I got back a father and a new sister but they….,” Guy points off in a direction and just shakes his arm and head,” They took from me what is mine and I wanted it back so badly I didn’t expect them to break the rules.”

“So Carlos broke the rules,” I ask and he shakes his head.

“Carlos broke his word, he allowed others to intervene and they broke the rules,” Guy is very cold in his tone before leaning his head back and I see his shoulders relax,” After days in bed you’d think I wouldn’t be tired.”

“Well get some sleep, no more high school for my boy,” I tell him and he looks at me confused,” I had your credits applied to graduation and aside from the ceremony if you choose to attend you don’t have to set foot in that school again.”

My son smiles and we’re joined after a while by the rest of the family. We sit and talk, Guy even calls Neal to let him and Gwen know that he is feeling better. A couple hours later Guy is sleeping and I’m watching him. Before it was just him sitting there eyes open but now it’s rest and I don’t know what miracle this Father Gabriel worked but my son is back. And I need to have a talk soon to Abby about her boyfriend.

Father Gabriel: That Friday Evening

“Gabriel,” one of my people asks for attention.

“Yes,” I answer leaning my head in his direction.

“We came and we’ve been waiting, where is he,” he asks and I look at him.

“Doubting Thomas now? He will come as he said he would,” I hear him doubting in his mind.

I can feel him arrive, it’s like a cool breeze on a hot day in the swamp. The car engine stops and I watch as the Devil himself makes his way through my people. They know him, they know what I know but not all believe like I do and they’ve been waiting for a sign.

“This is all of them,” the one says, he doesn’t ask.

“All are here and waiting,” I answer and he nods.

He’s wearing just a simple t shirt and those athletic pants I see people running in with some sneakers but it’s the bag he’s carrying that I feel drawn to, this is getting fun. My people watch and wait with me as he takes out a single piece of paper and holds it out to me, it’s a list.

“Take it, make teams and spread out. Gather your tools, arm yourselves and be ready,” Guy begins but ‘Thomas’ is out of place stepping forward.

“Why do we listen to you, we came here for Gabriel, not some kid in a flashy car,” ‘Thomas’ asks Guy.

“See this face,” he motions at his own,” This is the face of desire. When people desire something they come to it and they make deals. The deal was not honored and now I summoned beings who can handle what must be done next.”

“Again why listen to a kid with a list,” ‘Thomas’ asks again and I can feel things change around me.

He is fast, the Devil is, and he is on ‘Thomas’ like hellfire on a sinner. The beating is savage, raw and without mercy. ‘Thomas’ begins to move to his feet when the Devil latches on to the side of his head with his teeth. There is a scream, ‘Thomas’ is the one screaming and with beautiful violence the Devil’s head pulls away from ‘Thomas’s head and blood flies a few feet and spills to the ground. The Devil paces around ‘Thomas’ as my people watch, hopeful and doubtful have turned into anxious and eager, I smile because I can see how much fun we’re going to have. The Devil spits out a chunk of flesh from ‘Thomas’s head and I do believe I see an ear. As ‘Thomas’ lays in agony and in his blood the Devil looks to my flock.

“It’s been a while since some of you saw the original, that was the face of desire,” the Devil has the lower half of his face covered in blood,” This is the original face of fear. Now get your tools and get ready because hell is coming to earth.”

My people move with a possessed speed and I’m happier now than I have been in years. I follow Guy to my van and present his request.

“It isn’t bright and beautiful but…,” I begin showing it off to him but he stops me.

“It’s perfect, you’ve done well. After this you’ll fall asleep to the sound of your father burning for a month,” he promises me but I’ve been hearing that for years.

I watch him load his new toy into his bag, I see the clothing in there and almost ask. I remember myself and know that if he needs me he will call. A few of my people are attending ‘Thomas’ and trying to figure out how to patch him up when the Devil speaks to them.

“Burn the wound,” he tells them and I actually didn’t think of that.

“What about my ear…. Sir,” ‘Thomas’ asks and the Devil turns his head to the other side.

“I left you with one, use it more and your mouth less and you’ll probably keep it longer than your other ear,” the Devil walks past the ear on the ground and looks at it for a moment,” It’d be a shame to waste this though, feed it to the dogs.”

“We didn’t bring the dogs with us,” my giant answers Guy, he’s been missing the beautiful girl and was hoping to see her.

“You know what, you are good with faces,” Guy offers picking up the ear and handing it to him,” You reattach it Chucklez.”

Nobody has called him that in a long time but his old name brings a smile to Chucklez face and I watch Guy leave our gathering. I brought sixty with me, more than enough for a few nights of work.

Carlos: Saturday Night

Races and partying are in full effect at the airfield and while the Union are in their side business I’m hanging back and relaxing since we don’t have anything to move till mid week. Romeo and Juanita are doing good by the looks of it. Hector is still mad because Guy got the better of him with Lupe and she ditched his ass and I’m spending part of my time watching my people and texting Abby who says that Guy is doing well but won’t see me or speak with me at all. I am not asking her to step in since I can’t fully explain why I didn’t show up and who showed up in my place. I get pulled aside for a quick chat with the Old Man and he’s happy that we have things ready ahead of schedule for the next shipment of his merchandise. My phone goes off and I don’t see Abby messaging me and when I open the phone everything freezes. The Old Man asks me what I see but I’m not sure it’s real.

Father Gomez: an hour earlier

My humble house of worship has an open door policy, people can come and go as they please as long as they respect the house of our lord as they would respect their own. Personally I think a few respect God’s house a little more than their own but I’m not one to judge. I’m reading the verse for the gospel tomorrow when I hear… singing?

Michael row your boat ashore… Hallelujah

I know the song but not the singer. I leave my book and my study to find a person, I assume it’s a man, standing in the middle of the aisle in the nave. ‘He’ isn’t over tall but a bit overweight and wearing all black and looking at the front entry of the church.

“May I help you friend,” I ask as the man turns to face me.

“I don’t think so friend,” the man is smiling, not normal happy smiling and has a very large brown/black beard and wears a traditional black cassock.

“I’m sorry I didn’t know I’d have another priest visiting or I’d have coffee made,” I offer to be polite.

“No troubles Father Gomez,” he knows my name,” my congregation and I are here to do his work and then we will depart.”

“Your congregation,” I ask and then I see movement.

There are three of them in masks, animal masks, are surrounding me. I hold my hands up in a surrender and to keep them at arm’s length. The other ‘priest’ laughs a little.

“Oh brother we bring the light of the dawn with us,” he says as the three rush me.

I fought a little when I was younger, I wasn’t great at it but I fight back for about two punches before I’m pushed onto my face and my hands are bound behind my back. They pull me up to my knees and I see someone else behind the priest. A brown long coat in need of some repair, heavy thick cargo pants, boots and those plated gloves you see police wear. The last two things I pay the most attention to are the mask, a hard metal lower half with animal teeth painted on it and a visor on top so nobody can see the eyes of the wearer. The other is a hammer, hammer with a large metal head and a spike on the back. It’s got a handle long enough for both hands but the figure in the clothes is using one to hold it. The fake priest sees me looking behind him.

“That is the beast, he follows me around. Now you aren’t as civil as I thought with your fighting back and that just might save you because today is a special day. Today we test your faith, first pray,” the priest says and I bow my head,” Not those regular prayers, pray from your soul.”

I have no clue what he expects but I pray for everyone and everything. I hit all the points you hit when you are trying to show someone what compassion and selflessness looks like. I don’t look up until I say ‘Amen’ and when I do I see the priest on his knees praying. He says ‘Amen’ and looks up at me.

“That was beautiful, I’d almost swear you are without stain on your soul without testing you after that,” he says with no smile,” However the beast needs proof.”

“What kind of proof would the beast know to be true,” it’s a good question considering they’re crazy and playing along might save my life.

“A simple choice has to be made by you and then one of two things will happen. You pick the one you want and it happens… and this is not a negotiation Gomez,” he says and I nod,” two options, first in the containers that my congregation have more than enough homemade napalm to burn this church for an entire day. Everything inside will burn and it will not be saved by every fireman the city can manage to get here.”

“You’d burn down a house of the lord,” I ask and he smiles.

“No Father, you would by your choice. The other option is simple, the beast is going to beat you with that hammer,” I can hear the masked ‘Beast’ breathing behind the metal,” he is going to beat you then we’re going to take down Jesus and he’s gonna nail you to the cross so your congregation can see what a real sacrifice is.”

I can’t think because both options are horrifying in their own right but the ‘Beast’ is pacing and I can smell the fuel they are going to burn the church down with, the decision isn’t difficult.

“Burn the church,” I tell him and stands up quicker than I thought he could looks down on me very serious.

“Why the church, he wants to know,” the ‘priest’ asks waving his hand back to the ‘Beast’.

“A church can be rebuilt, God forgives and a merciful God values all life,” I explain and he smiles.

“Pack up, we’re leaving,” he tells his people who take the containers and exit out of the nave.

I watch and hear them leave, they even cut my hands free but they don’t spread the fuel around. Was it all a test? Was he just trying to see what I’d say? Then I see the Beast, he’s right in front of me and he still has his hammer.

“You don’t have to do this, all are forgiven in the eyes of the lord,” I tell him and feel the flat of the hammer gently touch my chin.

“God’s eyes… not mine,” the voice that comes out is like ice.

“You don’t have to do this,” I tell him as he lifts the hammer.

“I already have…,” the voice growls,” It’s almost a new day of hell on earth.”

The man, I can only assume it is a man turns and exits the church out the front while I remain on my knees for a moment and realize the worst is over. I get my feet under me and begin to walk when I see light out of the church windows. I hurry outside and I see a fire several blocks away… then another… I stop counting at six and realize that this church isn’t on the list. I say a quick prayer and wait to see who needs help.

Imelda: a few minutes later

Holy shit the town is burning. There gotta be a dozen fires and I was fucking late getting out to the meets but now I rush back and make sure Momma and the house are alright. Doubling back full throttle has me home and all is quiet save for the burning and sirens in the distance. I head into town to see what the damage is. I check the shop first and it’s fine so I can sleep and I’m still employed tomorrow so that’s a plus. I drive around a little and see few bikes I don’t recognize with riders I’m sure are organized heading away from one of the fires. I’m on my baby and she is fast so when heavy bikes move down the road she is a hell of a lot quicker and I catch up to them just in time to slam the brakes and stoppie but it’s too little too late as they are turning around and I recognize the lead bikes rider, fucking Chucklez of the Faces of Fear. I turn to spin out and ride off but a hand grabs my jacket and I’m pulled back while my baby lunges forward then falls down. I’m on my face with a knee on my back and I feel my knife being taken out of my sheath at the small of my back.

“Fucking get the fuck off of me Chucklez,” I yell at the big black clown looking asshole.

He doesn’t, he holds me down and after a moment I’m dragged off to a van that’s pulling up. I see a few more of Chucklez friends getting out and when I see the bag I start to fight and then one who looks like he had his ear reattached to his head and not by a doctor gets close.

“HEY! Listen very carefully, the bag goes on the head. Say it back,” he tells me and I spit at him.

“Put the bag on your own head asshole,” I snarl and he frowns.

“The bag goes on the head or the chain goes around the wrists,” he says again and I see the chain they are beginning to tie to the bumper of the van,” Say it.”

“The bag goes on the head,” I don’t like giving up but I can’t win.

He doesn’t smile as he puts the bag over my head and my hands are cuffed behind my back before I’m shown into the van a lot more politely than I would have expected. The van starts and I hear motorcycles not my own and then feel the van begin to move. I am shaking a little because when the Faces of Fear take someone they don’t come back whole if they come back at all. I hear big metal doors open and close behind us before the van is opened and I’m guided/pulled from my spot on the floor of the van. I have to climb stairs with a blind fold which has me trip more than once before I’m put on my knees on the floor and I wait. I hear them mumbling, laughing, planning before I hear another engine and everything goes quiet with the freaks. I hear more people come up the stairs and one moves closer to me before all others seem to head down the stairs.

“What is the face you expect to see when I pull that bag off,” the voice in front of me asks and I shrug,” Do you want me to take the bag off?”

“Please,” I ask and feel the bag loosen from around my neck and come off.

It’s not bright but there is enough light that I can see the person in front of me. Tall, maybe six foot, ratty brown coat, thick gloves with plate for protection, shin guards on his cargo pants and a medival fucking hammer about three foot long with a flat side and a spike on the other. I see my knife in his other hand then I look for a face but see a mask, pieces of a mask. One half metal with painted teeth and the other a one way visor to protect the eyes. The man thing sits down in front of me and sets my knife down in between us.

“We know you…,” it asks and I shrug,” You wanted to see the fires?”

“I was worried for other people… I just wanted to know what was happening,” I tell it and it shrugs.

It reaches forward and unzips my white racing jacket and pulls out my phone, not any damage from what I can see as it places the phone next to my knife.

“You saw the fires, you saw what I brought to your world. Now I need you to help me send a message,” it tells me and I back up a little,” I said send a message, not become a message.”

“Who am I telling and what,” I might as well help because if the Faces of Fear are answering to this thing and not Gabriel then we’re all sorts of fucked without a compass.

“First a little show and tell,” it tells me getting up from in front of me.

I watch him step around behind me and then the cuffs come off, first reaction is grab my knife. Second I turn around and stand up quickly bringing the blade straight at it’s stomach when I feel a hand on my wrist blocking my stab. My hand is being pulled up away from the stomach and up to the chest of this freaking monster and now I’m struggling to get back but with one hand on my wrist and the other on my hand the blade is going into the ugly grey sweater. I try to pull back or drop my knife but I feel the pressure give and two inches of blade goes right in and now there is blood.

“You don’t know what pain is… I am pain. You don’t know suffering… my existence defines suffering. I will not stop until I am satisfied. There will be no negotiation, there will be no promises save for this,” it tells me holding my hand that holds the blade in it’s now bleeding chest,” I will burn it all till there is nothing left but ash. I will feed them the ash till their blood turns black. I will bleed their black blood onto the earth and turn this whole city into hell on Earth. I will be satisfied or all will suffer.”

“You’re bleeding,” I can’t think of anything else to say.

“Tell your family… tell him what I said, tell the one who controls him and then have the both of them tell the one who controls it all will lose more until I’m satisfied. All sins answered for… Do you understand,” it asks me and I nod.

It lets my hands go and release my knife and back up only to see the knife still in it’s chest and with all the care of a person killing a mosquito it pulls my knife out of it’s fucking chest and drips blood on the ground. There is blood going down the front of it and I watch as it calmly steps forward and hands me back my knife before stepping aside and with a wave of it’s hand motions to the wooden stairs. I run, I don’t look back at all, I just run down stairs and past whatever is the dark on the first floor of wherever I am and out the nearest door. I get about ten feet when I see my bike sitting at the curb waiting for me. I shake as I get the engine turned over and I’m flying down the road. Get to the meets, got to get to the meets. I don’t have my helmet, lost it in the melee with Chucklez but right now I need to get to Carlos and tell him shit has officially gone nuclear.

Carlos: At the meets with Jim

I’ve got my phone out and I’m looking at the screen with the text from Imelda. The monster thing that was kicking the shit out of my people a while back has come out of hiding and fuck if it ain’t worse the Faces of Fear are in town and they answer to him. I let Jim know and he is not happy.

“That greasy fuck Gabriel is un-fucking-welcome in this city and he fucking knows it,” the Old Man’s son Smitty spits.

“Regardless of that we can trust his cousin,” the Old Man says it, doesn’t ask me if we can,” so what is the Faces of Fear doing here?”

“Imelda said that the one who spoke to her said that he would burn it all,” I repeat the message for them.

We only wait for a minute or two before the pictures come in of buildings on fire from Imelda. She says there are more, a lot more and that the fire departments are having trouble with too many fires and not enough firemen. Romeo heads over to check and when he sees the picture from my phone he is first to bring up what we are missing.

“That’s one of the storehouses,” Romeo says just loud enough for only us to hear.

“Say that again kid,” the Old Man asks.

“The building, I recognize it as one of the store houses,” he basically repeats and now I see the Old Man mad.

“Carlos you take your people, you go to every single spot we store merchandise and you check it. When it’s all done you report back to me at the parlor and I don’t care what time it is or what else you feel you need to do you get back to me in person fast,” he orders and I’m off.

Pulling my people away from the party isn’t a good thing but when it’s business they don’t give me any pissing and moaning. Every car is off heading back into town and to the storage buildings we manage for the Union, except mine. I head to the tattoo parlor and wait there for the Old Man and his people. My updates go from not good to bad to apocalyptic in a matter of an hour and when Jim shows up he can see things aren’t good by my face.

“How much did we lose,” he asks from the passenger side of the van he’s in.

“No merchandise was stored but all sixteen spots are burnt out or still burning,” I tell him and I can see him getting angry.

“I am going to call Mulligan and advise him of the new situation while the rest of my boys circle the wagons and keep an eye out for Gabriel and his roving band of nutcases,” he explains before looking at me,” You and your people are going to act normal, sit back and keep your mouths shut.”

I nod, no point in offering to help when he doesn’t want it. I get back in my car and head towards home. Mom and Dad are still sleeping, Marta must be as well because her door is locked and as far as I know she had no plans. I try to settle down and get some rest but it’s a little difficult with the state of things.

Guy: Midnight, same night

Back home and feeling a little bit relaxed is a good thing when you’ve been driving around. I see Mom is up and wide awake watching the news and when she sees me she’s up off the couch and hugs me tight.

“Mom what’s going on,” I ask hugging her back.

“Honey weren’t you in town,” she asks and I nod,” there have been fires popping up all over the city. News says it’s the worst fires the state has seen in decades.”

“Wow, is anyone hurt,” I ask looking at the TV.

“Not that they are saying, the family is all here except you and I tried to call you but you were ignoring me,” Mom is a little upset with me.

“Mom my phone died and I didn’t have the cable to charge it. All I was doing was driving around a little and trying to figure out a few things for myself,” I explain as she folds her arms.

“What could be so important that you stay out till midnight and don’t notice half the city on fire,” she asks and is seriously not happy.

“Colleges, mostly where I want to go and what I want to study,” I answer her and she gives me a negative look.

“You were out in town and didn’t see any of the fires you were just thinking and driving,” Mom questions me and I’m beginning to wonder if I did something wrong.

“Yeah, I saw a fire truck go past me but I figured best thing to do is head the opposite direction,” I explain the fire truck I actually did see,” I figured with my luck it’s better to get away from it now then wait and hope something doesn’t happen to me.”

“So you were being safe, no playing around with me on this Guy,” Mom questions again and I don’t feel angry at her accusations.

“Mom, I was avoiding trouble. I’ve had enough trouble this year alone to last me a decade. God you make me want to be a hobo and skip college altogether,” I end with a joke and a smirk.

She laughs a little, thank god. I thought she was getting mad at me and that is the last thing I need now that I’m able to spend my days doing what I want. I get a hug and head up to bed but not before sending a text out to Syd and making sure she’s alright. She doesn’t respond quickly but as my head hits the pillow I see my phone go off and read the message ‘I was sleeping, now I’m not alright’. I apologize and promise to see her soon. Morning comes quick and after my workout followed by a shower I settle in on my computer to get through some of these online college courses that I’ve been working on mostly at the high school but now that I am graduated, minus walking that is, I can work privately. I spend hours on the assignments and blast through the reading when I figure I need to take a break and get some serious advice. I dress normally, no suit for me today and head down stairs with some music on my phone and I grab my charging cable this time just in case.

Henry Mulligan: One in the afternoon, same day

Every single building that got hit according to Jim and Carlos was one of ours and they were the only spots that were burned out. Only thing good about it is that they are insured up the ass and I have all the spots run through other people’s names which leaves me free and clear. So why am I in town at my legal beagle’s office? Just dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the ‘t’s’. I make it past the door and my driver David is with me as we head up the elevator and get off where the big offices are. I can see a few suits working but more than a few are clustered around I hear laughing as I approach.

“Seriously if you are going for a law degree the market is flooded with Harvard law degree holders. Go to Stanford or Yale, they aren’t the popular choice but their courses are of a higher standard,” one of the female suits tells the center of attention.

“What about that voice we heard so much about, take that and make millions. You could pay for anything after that including the law degree,” another jokes and there is laughter.

I know where Delauter’s office is but passing the crowd I see his step son talking and laughing. Not what I expected after he turned into a vegetable a few weeks ago. I broke the deal, in his mind at least, but he was going to be bad for business and I couldn’t allow him to finish his little game. I hear the boy speak up.

“It’s been good talking with you all, I gotta see the boss about some financing,” Guy says stepping out of the crowd and past me.

Not a word, not even a look at me. The boy just walks right on by and into his Step Daddy’s office. I follow, might as well and I’m stopped briefly by the old lady he has as a secretary.

“Mr. Delauter is in a meeting right now Mr. Mulligan, you’ll have to wait out here,” the woman, Marge, informs me.

“Yeah he’s with his son and I’m like family, I’ll be fine,” I tell her opening the door.

“So east coast or west coast is the question Guy,” I hear Delauter ask as I enter,” Pardon us Mr. Mulligan we’re in the middle of something important.”

“Oh I’m not going to interrupt,” I joke but don’t leave,” Besides I’ll probably be paying for a percentage of his college anyway.”

“Honestly I was thinking West, probably California,” Guy says not even looking at me.

“Sunshine, blonde girls and the ocean,” I step up almost behind Guy and move to put my hand on his shoulder.

“Touch me and it’s assault,” he says without looking at me and I stop my hand.

“Easy kid, we’re all friends here,” I tell him and he turns to talk to me.

“What made you think we were friends? What possibly happened to convince you that we were friendly towards each other,” he asks quickly and very hostile, not like when I saw him in the warehouse.

“Mr. Mulligan he did say that he would call it assault if you touched him, as your legal counsel I have to advise you to maintain a safe distance from my son or I won’t be able to represent you in the case as I’d be a witness,” Delauter is quick with legal advice and I listen, for now.

“Fair enough, I’m just glad to see the boy is doing better. After we spoke I was a little worried about him,” I tell Delauter but Guy does not stop burning a hole in me,” You feeling alright son?”

“I was, not anymore now. I’ll see you later Mr. D,” he tells his Step Dad and walks past me, my driver and right out the door.

“Grumpy lil cuss ain’t he,” I mutter before turning my attention to Delauter,” I’m curious about my fire insurance.”

I go over the basics and my questions, mostly about multiple locations and rebuild or compensation options that most aka my providers have. Delauter is thorough with answers, even calls in a lawyer who specializes in insurance just to be safe. It’s honestly the best meeting we’ve had in a while considering everything involving his step son. It’s just the three of us in the office again but Danny isn’t talking so I figure I’ll ask.

“How is the boy, really? I mean you said things were bad when we spoke on the phone a while back,” I get the question out and the mood changes in my lawyer.

“He was fine till you arrived and then you saw the result,” Delauter is being short with me, I don’t like it.

“Easy, I’m just concerned is all. If I’m paying money to someone I like knowing that things are going good for them on all fronts,” I explain and he doesn’t relax at it.

“Call it what you want but he obviously doesn’t like you Mr. Mulligan and lets not bring my family into the conversation if were talking about hypotheticals for insurance,” Delauter brings it back to my original point for visiting.

“Fair enough but you answered everything I had for today, just a bit concerned with all those fires last night,” I explain standing up.

“Not a problem Mr. Mulligan, have a good day,” Delauter says but doesn’t stand or offer to shake my hand.

I leave the Law Firm without an escort this time and get back to my truck. David gets the door for me and I’m about to head back home when I see the boy, Delauter’s step son, in his muscle car driving down the road. I tell David to follow and he does, he’s paid to, and we drive around for about thirty minutes until the boy stops and gets out at a gas station and parks. David pulls in and parks a bit away from the kid’s car and he both head inside. It doesn’t take me too long to find him looking at soda in those big refridgerators they store everything in. David moves around to the other side of the boy and I walk up.

“So you’re feeling a bit more talkative than the last time we spoke,” I ask and he doesn’t answer,” Kid I’m not going anywhere.”

He says nothing, just opens the door and picks up a bottle of soda, a glass one that is like the old days and looks at it. I don’t normally take to being ignored and this ain’t an exception and David knows it.

“Hey kid, the man is talking to you,” David informs the boy and takes his shoulder.

“Easy David, boy is still upset about what he’s been through,” I tell David who takes his hands off the boy,” You going to talk to me son? Try to even treat me with a little respect after everything?”

“I’m sorry, were you talking,” Guy turns and looks at me confused, then his expression changes,” because if you were I didn’t hear anything.”

“Kid I’m just trying to be straight with you,” I tell him and he laughs a little.

“You wouldn’t know how if someone gave you an instruction book with pictures and big bold print,” he replies with an insult, David isn’t amused.

“Watch your tone kid,” my driver warns.

“Or what, he’ll break his word? Send his lackeys after me? Threaten me,” Guy asks but doesn’t look at David, just at me.

“Kid you may not see it but I did that to save everyone from something they couldn’t fix, that includes you,” I start but he cuts me off, it’s a bit annoying.

“No, you took away what would have fixed me. You did it to save your people from something you didn’t understand,” he steps up to me and most times I’d punch someone for getting in my face,” You didn’t care then what you were doing to me and you don’t care now what you and your boys did to me so don’t think that for one minute that I respect you or believe that you actually give a shit about how I am doing. You are worried that I’ll make sure my Step Father drops you from his firm, that’s all you care about when it comes to me, right?”

“It’s one thing, we had a deal and I did what was best for everyone. You didn’t get what you think you needed but what you got is what is best for everyone,” I try to explain but again he cuts me off.

“Best for them, best for you… not me. You are a liar, you broke your word. All I hear now is what I smell,” he is in a rage but he’s really quiet,” pig shit.”

I put a hand on the boy’s chest and back him up, he’s two steps from a good cuff upside the head but that isn’t for here and now. He stays back from me and I feel like this isn’t going anywhere so I nod to the boy and turn around and exit the gas station store. I’m back in the truck with David and he is angry, wants to put the kid in his place but he’s there already and doesn’t like it. Someday maybe the kid will listen, no point in dwelling on it now.

Carlos: One week later

Fires everywhere and Faces of Fear are in the city uninvited but nothing now for a bit and even though my people got places to store Union hardware the Old Man has all hands on deck keeping things under control and after six hours we have everything on lock in our blocks. I send my people home and head over to meet Jim at the tattoo parlor. I get there first since I was closer and see the business is still open but Smitty and the Old Man aren’t there yet. I head inside and don’t see Vicki, Smitty’s daughter, behind the counter as usual. I don’t see her anywhere actually and even check the back for her when I hear the door to the front open and the Old Man call out.

“Vicki? Where are you girl,” he calls as I step out of the back,” Where is my granddaughter?”

“I don’t know, I got her a few minutes ago and didn’t see her when I came in so I looked around but I don’t think she’s here,” I tell the Old Man and watch his son pull out a phone and make a call.

Ringing cellphone from the front counter where you are supposed to find Vicki gives us her cellphone and in today’s world you don’t just forget your cellphone or leave your family business unlocked on a Saturday afternoon. Smitty is worried and holding the phone when it goes off again but it’s not him calling. He answers and finds it’s a video call and that’s when I hear it.

“Well hey there friends,” I know that creepy ass voice, Gabriel,” are we still not welcome in this wonderful city?”

“Gabriel what did you do,” the Old Man asks taking the phone from Smitty.

“Why Jim, whatever do you mean? I mean I might needs some specifics as to what you are referring because I’ve been doing a lot of things since I got back into town. I went to church, spoke with a priest, watch a miracle. Just so many things come to mind,” Gabriel answers smiling at the phone.

“You sick shit where is my daughter,” Smitty yells at the phone and we hear laughter.

“She’s around here somewhere, give me a couple hours and she’ll be ALL around here,” he jokes but he will kill her and cut her up.

“That is my family Gabriel, you hurt her and you know the hell we can bring down on your world,” the Old Man warns him.

“We’ve already brought hell with us to your fair city but we have a problem. See in all this fire we didn’t find him, we called and called and called but he didn’t come out to play in the fire so now some of the faithful think that what we need is a good old offering of blood,” Gabriel explains and Smitty is about to rip a chair out of the ground.

I can hear over the video what sounds like someone screaming into a gag, the Old Man is pale but doesn’t drop the phone in his shock.

“What do you want,” the Old Man asks quietly.

“I want HIM. I want the one who rose up from the fire and walks the earth. I want the deal maker, the lie breaker, the one and only first and fallen,” Gabriel says and I’m confused,” I want the Devil himself.”

“Gabriel you’re crazy, there is no devil’s best in the city,” the Old Man says and I take the phone.

“Well hello there boy, you know him… I can see it in your eyes. You bring him to me and you bring him unspoiled and willing and I’ll give her back the same way,” Gabriel pans the camera over to Vicki who is bound to a chair,” Because if you don’t she’ll get to meet the other one. The breaker of souls, the maker of screams, the nightmare beast.”

I watch the camera pan over and I see something I’ve only heard about. It’s tall, about as tall as me maybe but wearing all dirty brown clothing and a thick dark brown jacket. There is a cover for the head and a mask with painted on animal teeth. I get a good look when I see what I can only describe as a bigger than normal hammer with a spike on the back half.

“It’ll be a couple hours, I’ll get him okay,” I know who he wants but I can’t think of how to get him.

“Good boy, run along now. Next time I call I better hear some good news because if I don’t I’m gonna send Smitty some of his baby girl’s artwork for his wall,” I think and then remember her tattoos.

“I’ll get it done,” I end the call.

“Kid what the hell are you talking about,” the Old Man asks while Smitty bends a piece of metal in his hands.

“He wants Guy,” I explain and both men look at me confused,” He was making all these deals, even with me. Then with all that happened to him people thought he was unkillable or something. And Remember when he spoke to Gabriel at the meet months ago?”

“He thinks that whipping boy is the devil, he’s out his damn mind,” the Old Man says it and I nod.

“Get that kid here now, we make the trade I don’t care what you need to do just get him here,” Smitty orders and I nod a little.

I am out of the tattoo parlor and in my car fast heading for the one place I know I can start looking for Guy, his family’s home. It takes me half an hour to get there on the freeway but I make it and get past the gate easy enough, it was open, and I’m on the doorstep waiting for an answer when Abby opens the door.

“Carlos,” she is surprised and looks over her shoulder,” what are you doing here?”

“Hey girl, I need to speak with Guy. Is he home,” I ask as she walks me inside.

“Yeah but he is still upset with you,” she tells me and I figure he is.

My girlfriend, not sure for how much longer after this, walks me up stairs and to a room where I can hear someone talking. I knock on the door and open it a little so I can see.

“Just remember Roberta, this is your new life now. Go out there and live it,” Guy is telling a girl who is dressed very lower middle class.

“Are you sure this is everything? You told me I’d be there till it was over,” the blonde girl answers.

“It is over, nothing more I can do but as promised a new life and someone is waiting for you,” he tells her and she lights up a little,” Go get her and have a good life, please.”

She hugs him and after picking up pair of bags she steps past Abby and me before heading down the stairs. Guy moves to a very nice leather chair and doesn’t even look at me in his doorway.

“Hey Guy,” I try to greet him but he doesn’t respond,” Guy man you there?”

“I’m here Carlos but could someone explain to me why the hell you are,” Guy asks annoyed.

“I need your help man, I need you to come with me,” I don’t waste time, don’t have any to waste.

“I don’t feel like helping so no,” he responds quick and mean.

“Listen I know things didn’t go down right, that’s on me,” I start and he is quick to stop me.

“That was your choice, you made it now live with the consequences,” he tells me still not looking at me.

“I wouldn’t if it wasn’t an emergency but I need your help man,” I ask and he doesn’t even respond,” It’s an emergency and I need your help.”

“I don’t care,” he’s quiet now but still not looking at me.

I step in and Abby backs up so I can close the door and hopefully get some privacy, don’t want to have the full conversation about this fucked up mess in front of her. I move in front of Guy and his fucking huge ass TV, I didn’t think they made them that big.

“My boss, his daughter was grabbed by that freak who sponsored you at the fights, remember him,” I ask and he finally looks at me but it’s not with sympathy or empathy,” he wants you to come to him.”

“And I’m going to guess if I don’t then something horrible is going to happen to someone I’ve never really met and don’t care about,” he asks and I nod,” Okay, well in that case no.”

“Man they will kill her, they will do some demented and messed up things to her first but they will kill her,” I tell him and he doesn’t even laugh at me like he used to before the meeting I missed.

“And then they will mourn her, they will get their revenge and I will still be here,” he says to me and I hate this.

“She didn’t do anything to you and you’re going to let them just kill her,” I ask trying to find an opening.

“No I’m not going to let them kill her, that implies there is something I can do to stop them from what they are going to do,” he says quietly,” What I am going to do is sit here and watch some TV while the world spins on without me or my actions.”

“Man I swear you do this and they’ll make it right,” I start but he’s up and in my face.

“They had that chance, you had that chance, that opportunity has passed and there isn’t a chance for it now. It’s too late to make me whole,” he says quietly but with a little pain.

“What about her, her name is Vicki,” I pull up a picture of Vicki on her phone,” She’ll die.”

“Better dead than broken,” he says turning away from me,” you know what the sad thing is? I never lied to anyone. I held things back, didn’t show the whole picture but I never looked someone in the face and said one thing then did the opposite.”

“I know man, I did that and it’s why you’re better than me. I can’t change anything we did but now, right now I need your help and I’m asking you… will you man up and help me,” I ask and he looks at me funny.

“No but you can take me to your bosses. We can see what they have to say,” he offers and it’s a step forward I’ll take.

I open his door and see Abby back up quickly, she doesn’t look too happy but not in the angry way, more like the worried way. I get a quick kiss from her before leading Guy out of his home and to my car. It doesn’t take any longer to get back to the tattoo parlor than it did to get to Guy’s house and after a quick parking job and almost getting patted down by two Union men out in front of the business I get the door for Guy and he steps inside. The Old Man and SMitty are there with a dozen Union men and they are all armed and staring at Guy.

“Well this looks friendly,” Guy says in a flat tone.

“Kid I don’t know how you got him here but I swear you are getting a fucking medal for this shit,” the Old Man tells me as Guy leans against the counter.

“All I said was I’d come down here and listen to his bosses,” Guy didn’t actually say he’d help but I’m hoping they can talk to him.

“Listen boy, my daughter is in the hands of a fucking sick bag of shit and he wants you for her. That means you go to him and I get my baby back,” Smitty quietly growls at Guy.

“Easy son, he’s here and that’s a start. I know you hate us, I know you want to hurt us but this isn’t about us. My granddaughter is a good girl,” the Old Man starts but Guy stops him.

“Okay first off we need to clear the air on something. I don’t care about you, I don’t care about him and his homies,” Guy waves at me and I’m a little confused,” I don’t care about your daughter/granddaughter or whatever. I don’t care that someone has her. I don’t hate you because that would be something I don’t have anymore.”

“Well we need you to step up and help get her back,” the Old Man says to Guy and Guy does not look impressed,” Kid I’m not playing games here.”

“Didn’t think you were, problem is I don’t see why I should help. She dies, I lose nothing. She lives, I gain nothing,” he says and the Old Man is quick on him.

“You get my respect and my people’s respect,” he says and Smitty nods a little.

“I don’t care, you fail to understand that. Two weeks ago your respect and fear would have meant something to me. I was going to get those and my self-respect back but people stepped in the way and said no. Now you want my help and you appeal to things that are dead inside me,” Guy explains and it’s Smitty who answers.

“She’s my baby girl, aside from my dad she’s all I got left in this world kid. Yeah people fucked you up and you lost but are you going to stand there and let them do this when you, just you, can do something to stop it,” Smitty asks and Guy shrugs.

“Yeah, I am. Not because of some petty vengeance but because no matter what happens if I go to help you and save her I lose. I lose again and I’m tired of losing, I’m tired of trying when all I do is lose,” Guy explains it and he’s got a point, I don’t like it but he does.

“Guy they’ll put her through shit we never did to you. They’ll just cut her up and send us the pieces if she’s lucky she’ll be dead when they do it,” I tell him and he looks down,” You were the good kid at school, always the one who tried to be nice when we were assholes. Help us keep that from Vicki man.”

He nods, holy shit he nodded in agreement and Smitty wants to say something but Guy looks at him.

“This is going to kill me, you understand that,” he tells them and they shake their heads.

“No kid, once we get her back we’re coming for you and we’ll take care of the Faces of Fear once and for all,” the Old Man says and Guy shakes his head.

“They’ll kill her before you get the chance, I’ll go with Carlos and him,” he points at Smitty,” Nobody else and nobody around. They’ll trade and you’ll leave with her and not me, otherwise she’ll die.”

“That’s suicide,” I tell him and he looks at me like I’m stupid.

“What did you think you were getting me for? You think this is going to end in you taking down the bad guys and saving the day,” He asks loudly,” You’re all the bad guys. They are the bad guys just like you. I’m the Good one? That means I die and she lives. Don’t pretend that it happens any other way.”

Nobody wants to tell him he’s wrong, not sure why but I can’t say anything that would be true and I don’t think lying to him will help. I’m sitting with Guy in my car outside with Smitty on his bike behind us when the call comes in, I try to answer it but Guy takes the phone and starts talking to Gabriel. Nothing important other than a location and he agrees that he’s coming willingly before hanging up. We drive out and Guy helps us get to the airfield where Jim holds business and the races on the weekends, he should be holding one tonight but he cancelled tonight. We’re about halfway there when Guy decides to talk.

“I took the guns,” he says it and I have to ask.

“The guns? What guns,” I said I had to ask.

“The ones your people had stolen from them. I set it up so that the video would leak to your entire crew so it would be a distraction while I got in and took them. I didn’t know what they were at the time but I figured we were at war so it would be a good start to mess with Hector and your business,” Guy is confessing to me and I can’t believe it.

“Seriously you took them, how did you find out where we hid them,” I ask and he shakes his head.

“I just followed your people enough on foot from that dirt lot you meet in and at one point left a GPS on Hector’s car. He stopped there and it had his information when I picked it up from his car at school,” he explains and I’m a little shocked.

“How did you get in his car,” I’m confused but this is unreal.

“He doesn’t lock his doors,” Guy says and looks at me,” Honestly half your people don’t, they think nobody will touch their stuff so they don’t lock doors or put cellphones in spots where they can’t be seen.”

“And that’s how you got all our info and our stash house? Well shit man, you had us in a sling with that, what were you going to do with it,” I ask and he sighs.

“I gave it to drug dealers at first to kill you all, that didn’t work,” It didn’t and I knew that much,” then I was going to blow up your homes, businesses and that tattoo shop when you all were out.”

“Why when we were out,” I ask and he shrugs.

“I needed you to understand my pain, that felt like it would work and if you were dead you wouldn’t learn how much I hurt,” he tells me and I’m a little out my own head right now.

“You were willing to get yourself killed just to teach us how much we hurt you, shit man,” I have not much for this.

“Yeah well that didn’t work, someone got in the way as always and you got the weapons back. I hurt Romeo but after that I didn’t have much success trying to get you or anyone in a position where I could really do any damage and then you backed out of our deal,” he pauses at that then just stops talking.

“I did what I was told on that. I shouldn’t have told the Old Man,” I see him look at me confused,” The biker leader Jim? I told him and he told me when you called to let him know and he’d pass it up the chain. Then I heard someone higher up settled our debt but I didn’t believe it and then you were all messed up and I knew I should have just done what you said and things would have been over. Hell we would have had a chance to actually be friends.”

“Yeah, we could have been,” Guy says and I hate this.

Nothing more is spoken between us, I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that Guy went full on warzone with my people nobody figured out it was him. Hell I even told people it couldn’t be him because it’s not something I thought he was capable of. Now he’s in my car in a green polo shirt and beige slacks heading to meet his death. We arrive at the airfield and I see three of them out in the middle of an old runway we use for races with a black van and two bikes. I drive up to meet and stop in front of them about thirty feet and kill the engine. Guy doesn’t wait for me, he just gets out of my car and starts walking up as Smitty parks his bike and I hurry after him. I stop him at about twenty feet and I don’t like this.

“Guy we can step back, give it a minute man and wait for her,” I tell him nad he looks at me like I’m dumb.

“She’s not here, they didn’t bring her,” he tells me and I feel like shit is about to go sideways.

The van opens and Gabriel steps out of the back all smiles as he walks up to Guy. He’s smiling and laughing a little to himself as he paces back and forth while his people wait armed and ready for shit.

“Nobody else here so lets do this and get it over with,” Smitty says and Gabriel laughs.

“I didn’t think you’d come through, you are so quick to break your word,” Gabriel tells us but Guy steps forward.

“I’m here and I keep my word, now bring her here and let her go home. After she’s gone they’ll leave me here and I’ll go with you,” Guy tells Gabriel and the sick bastard laughs.

“That’s why I wanted you here, you always keep your word,” Gabriel mocks us but answers Guy.

I see one of the others make a call and we stand around for a few minutes when another van shows up and parks behind Gabriel. Two of the three Faces open the back and pull out what I can only assume is Vicki but there is a bag over her head. Gabriel puts his arm around her and walks her up to Guy smiling the whole way. Guy meets them and takes the bag off before turning to Smitty to check, we both nod that it’s Vicki who is scared and confused as Guy walks her back to my car and Smitty. We both watch as Daddy and Daughter hug before he helps put her in my car and after closing the door stares at Guy. I’m watching Guy too as he stands there quiet before Smitty holds out his hand to shake it. Guy looks at the hand and shakes his head before taking it.

“Thank you kid,” Smitty says and heads back to his bike.

“You need to leave now Carlos,” Guy tells me and I know I have to do something,” Don’t, this is how this goes, you win. She wins, her family wins, everybody wins except me. I lose it all now.”

I look at Smitty for help but his looks says ‘get in the car and leave’. I do what I’m supposed to but not what I should do and start the car as they lead Guy into one of the vans. I keep watching as I turn my car around, I see them close the doors on Guy in the rearview… and all I do is drive away. We get back to the tattoo parlor and Vicki is freaked out more than a little but the Old Man and Smitty are there with Mr. Mulligan on the phone telling him what happened. I know they are talking to me or about me but it doesn’t matter right now.

“Hey Carlos, you did what you could but it was a bad deal and he knew it,” Smitty says and I shake my head.

“Kid, Henry Mulligan here,” I hear him over the speakerphone,” I don’t like that this was done without my consent but there isn’t much I can do to fix it now and it is what will keep the business going. Importantly Jim’s granddaughter is safe and the Faces of Fear are leaving the city. We’ll find a way to settle things at some point.”

“It doesn’t matter, Guy will be dead and we’re all sacks of shit that let it happen,” I tell them and I can feel them shift.

“Carlos it’s just the way it had to be,” Smitty say and reaches out to put his hand on my shoulder.

“Don’t touch me, I work for you but after everything this year I’m damn sure we ain’t friends or family. I had a chance to settle things with him like a man and all of you said you’d handle it but you screwed him over and now he’s a dead while you get to sit back and relax,” I snap at the three and even Jim is stopped by me.

“Carlos it sucks that it happened but it’s the business first,” Jim says it and I nod.

“Yeah, business first… from here on in it’s business. We’ll do our jobs and we’ll stash and run your merchandise because it’s what we do better than you can but I know that we aren’t friends and you aren’t family. So let’s just keep that where it is from now on,” I’m upset and I don’t care what they think.

“Carlos you’re not thinking straight, give it a week or two then make decisions with us,” Mulligan says trying to advise me.

“Here’s my decision,” I state reaching over and hanging up the old phone.

I don’t say anything as I leave Jim’s office and the tattoo parlor, I don’t plan to come back here for a long time if I ever do. I got a crew to run and a family to keep an eye on.

Gabriel: about an hour after picking up Guy

We’re singing songs in the van on the way back home with the devil himself in the back seat, he’s a little bit in his own head and not as burning as hot as the first night we were back but he’s here and we’re going to have a great time. My riders are behind us as I get to ride shotgun in the van back to the bayou. I look back at my guest again and see him sitting on the little bench seat with his seat belt, he is wearing a seat belt after everything that they tried to do to him, he might need reminding of who he is and he’ll get it when we get home. I turn my eyes back to the road and even though we’re heading east and through the desert with the road to ourselves, hell we even pass a driver broken down on the side of the raod and while I would usually enjoy the chance to help a wayward soul my guest is much more important and we keep moving down the road. It isn’t long before he speaks up.

“We need to stop, we’re here,” the one and only says to me and I have to look back at him.

“We ain’t even close to home yet,” I tell him but something is wrong.

“I said to stop,” I feel that chill when he speaks and now I know we have the right one.

I have Chucklez stop the van after waving my riders to pull over and once we’re on the side of the interstate with nothing around but sand, hills and dead bones for miles I watch the devil step out of the van and begin walking away from the road and into the desert. He doesn’t go far, maybe fifty feet before stopping. I can hear him talk even though I’m looking at his back.

“Gabriel I’m disappointed, we made a deal didn’t we,” he says and I’m confused.

“We did sir, we made a deal and I and my people did your work. Now is when we deliver you home,” I remember the deal we made.

“You swore you would bring the daughter of the one who ran the city,” he says and I smile,” When did you realize that you took the wrong person?”

How did we take the wrong girl, the Old Man of the Union runs all the weapons and activities in the city. We’ve seen it, we’ve dealt with the heavy hand more than once. How could we have taken the wrong girl?

“The agreement was for his pain, his suffering. You said you could get it done and now that you took the wrong person there won’t be a chance to get the right one which means the window has closed for our agreement,” the devil says and I must disagree.

“We did all that you asked, you’re breaking your word to me,” I ask and he shakes his head before turning around.

“Contract was not fulfilled, every contract I make I guarantee that my end will be upheld. You did not and now I am home,” he says and bending down scooping up sand,” I’m disappointed and I’m tired of being disappointed so only one lives and that is because he has a purpose, the rest of you will die. Now do you wish to take care of this yourselves or do I have to do everything for you?”

“I know your tricks and I’ve seen your power, if you were able to kill you would have done so long before we met again. You are a false power and now you will be the one who learns true fear,” betrayed but I will have real fun with this pretender.

The sun is setting and he’s just standing there letting sand fall from his hand, I reach to Chucklez who hands me a good blade. It’s not big but it’s curved and sharp and it’ll do the job for now. I will make sure that this pretender never…..

Carlos Ortega: Graduation Day

And here we are graduating and it’ll be good for me and a few others like my sister but it’s a sad day considering everything that was lost. Abby is still with me, not sure how or why but she doesn’t ask me about what happened the day Guy left with me. Her whole family doesn’t even bring him up or they don’t when I’m around. His girl Sydney avoids my people, Jenna looks at us like we’re scum and the Asian cheerleader Emily is so far ahead of everyone except Romeo that she doesn’t need to see us in her rearview. At work things are tense, I’m not as mad at Jim and Smitty as I was but they know I don’t trust them like I did at the start of the year and the head boss Mulligan I don’t trust at all. We paid off the house thanks to the work that Guy had his Mom put through the bank and when we signed it all over it was a good day and disappointing for me.

We’re all in line and I’m in front of Marta, first initial being the only reason for that choice by the staff but it’s all good. Why? Because I get to watch Abby graduate and pick up before me. She’s smiling and I see her look back at me a little and then out to her family who are probably having professionals record this for them, wonder if I can get a copy? A few more names and then things get fucking bad.

“Guy Donnelly,” Mrs. Costas announces and it’s a nightmare.

A nightmare that lasts about four seconds as Guy Donnelly walks up to Mrs. Costas from the same damn line we’re all in and receives his diploma. Marta actually has to push me forward as I’m holding up the line watching him walk off the stage and move back towards his seat. I wait my turn and move in line but I keep checking to make sure that Guy is actually sitting in the fucking graduation ceremony and people are even talking to him. What the hell is going on? I manage but barely to smile and take my diploma when my name is called and I don’t fall down the stairs as Guy looks straight at me and smiles like he knows something that I should. We finish the ceremony and are release and while my parents are very happy for Marta and a little less so for me, I did spend five years there, I’m too distracted by Guy standing with his family. He is smiling and each of them are on the receiving end of praise. I make my way over through the groups of people and get about ten feet when a hand on my arm stops me.

“Be very careful what you say or do next boy,” I hear a man’s voice and it feels familiar,” You ruin this for my son and I’ll see to you personally.”

The fucker in the mask, he was in my bedroom months ago and knocked me out. I turn my head and it’s a lot weird, he kind of looks like Guy only older but with less hair and more weight. He lets me go and I finish making my way over to Abby who hugs me big and I get a few nods from the family but it’s Guy who just stands there looking at me with that smile, the ‘I know something you really want to know’ smile. He does and it takes more than a little bit where everyone is talking and people are discussing college and where they are going before Guy steps away and I see at least half my crew watching me as I catch up to Guy.

“Did you miss me,” he asks smiling but not looking back at me.

“Yes, what the fuck man,” I can’t think of another way to ask it.

“What? Did I do something wrong or untoward,” he asks glancing at me and he is playing with me,” Alright I’ll stop. What is the one thing that you and everyone you work with and for have constantly done in regards to me?”

“Fuck I’d say think we can fuck with you and nothing will happen to us,” I say it and he thinks before nodding.

“Okay I asked a too general question and you gave me a pretty accurate answer, what I was looking for what a bit different,” Guy explains as Juanita and Romeo make their way over,” Hey kids, what’s going on?”

“Carlos I thought you said he was gone,” Juanita says and I quiet her with a look.

“Okay apparently we have to have a conversation about this so here is what I propose. For once I would like to actually go out and party. There is a thing out with your bosses right,” he asks and I nod however.

“We don’t go to those anymore… not after what I thought happened to you,” I tell him and he actually looks at me a little surprised.

“Wow, didn’t think you’d take me being gone so hard,” Guy says little shocked,” No matter. I’m going tonight, meet me there.”

And just like that he turns away from us and continues heading towards his car. Guy leaves and I spread the word that we’re going to the meets tonight and we’re going all out. Anyone fucks with my people or Guy and I will personally fuck their world up and I don’t care what colors they wear. More talking and congratulations for my people before we head out and get ready for the meets. I’m armed and most of my people probably are as we make our way out and as soon as we roll up in force several groups take notice. I see a few Union reps head off and Smitty is the one to come back from where the Old Man is and keep an eye on us. It’s about a half hour before another Union rep tells Smitty something and he makes his way over to me.

“Someone is here to see you, they’re with my Dad,” Smitty says and I wave Hector to follow.

“Don’t think everything will be fine after this, it might not be,” I tell Smitty as we walk.

“Hey shit happened and it sucked but you’re the one making things tense. Some point you’ll have to drop shit and calm down,” he tells me and I guess we’ll see if that’s tonight or never.

We make it to the Old Man who is sitting down in one of his chairs, they bring one for him every meet, and he’s there talking to Guy who is standing in front of his car trunk with it facing us.

“I thought you said he went with Gabriel and was as good as dead,” the Old Man says to me without a greeting.

“Yeah same as you and everyone else, only difference is I wasn’t cool with sending him off to die and you seemed fine with it,” I state and I’m still not happy about that situation even with Guy alive.

“To answer the question that I posed to you earlier Carlos, what you do constantly towards me,” Guy brings it up again,” Constantly… I’m underestimated. We spoke a little in the car and that was just between us but I’d like to ask you something.”

“Who are you talking to kid,” Smitty asks and he points at the Old Man.

“Him, he’s highest on the hill right now. You sir, what would it take to prove that I am never to be trifled with no matter what, where and when,” Guy is asking him but the Old Man just chuckles at him.

“Kid you got away from Gabriel and his boys, you’re probably on borrowed time as is. He ain’t one to let shit slide like the rest of us,” Jim states to Guy who smiles and it’s not a friendly one.

“I’m less likely than Gabriel to let things slide. In fact the one thing that you need to understand is that I have more power and reach now than I did before so understand this very carefully… I am that thing in the shadows of a dark room before you turn on the light, I am one that causes your heart to beat a little faster and you can’t help but understand why,” Guy is almost like that scary older self before straightening up and smiling more friendly now,” but where are my manners, Gabriel won’t let things slide?”

The Old Man nods a little before Guy turns around and with a key opens his trunk. He doesn’t say anything, just starts pulling out clothes like he’s looking for something, just pulling them out and tossing them on the ground behind him. It’s a small pile and I look at the Old Man who’s face is in shock I’ve never seen and I take a look closer.

“Kid what the hell are these? Where the fuck did you get these,” Jim stands up and picks up one of the articles.

It’s a vest, a black leather vest with a ‘F.O.F.’ on the chest patch. Guy just dumped dozens of them down in front of us and finally he turns around with a big curved knife and a freaking hammer with a spike.

“Here Carlos you hold that,” he hands me the knife,” that was Gabriel’s knife, he was holding it when he died.”

“What did you do,” I ask but I’m looking at evidence that tells me everything I need to know.

“No way, nobody has the stones and pull to take out all the Faces of Fear. If anyone could it would have been us and we would have done it years ago,” Smitty states and he’s kind of right.

“Well I’m not nobody and I have to ask, how have the last few months been? Any trouble moving east? Any trouble when you’re near Louisiana? Any missing person reports coming out of there at the volume they were coming out,” Guy just keeps asking questions and it’s official, I have underestimated him for the last time.

“What are you man,” Hector asks and he’s afraid to get close to Guy.

“I could tell you but you probably wouldn’t believe me but is this,” Guy waves at the pile of vests,” Is that sufficient enough? Do I have your attention now?”

“Kid you had my attention when you showed up, I figured you were looking for protection or something,” the Old Man answers and Guy laughs.

“This is all of them except two, one is free and the other… well he belongs to,” Guy points his thumb at his chest,” The free one won’t come here or interfere in your business but I still haven’t been answered. Does that prove I am not someone to be trifled with?”

“Kid if you did what you claim you did… yeah, you aren’t someone we want a war with. We didn’t want one with you before but it’ll be a cold day in hell before anyone in this town with any connections comes at you with any grief,” Jim says it and he’ll probably do some verification but this is pretty convincing as it is.

“Wonderful, well the hammer is mine,” Guy says placing it back in the trunk,” you can do whatever you like with those and Carlos I’d think about putting the knife in that pile, you don’t want to know what Gabriel did with that thing.”

I actually realize what he’s talking about and drop the knife before wondering if someone has some hand sanitizer or something to clean up with. Guy closes his trunk and gets in his car leaving us there with more questions but nobody is sure if there is an answer we’ll want to hear. Everything is cleaned up and it’s just Smitty, Hector, myself and the Old Man standing and sitting.

“So what about us,” Smitty asks and I almost want to swear at him,” Carlos you going to keep this hatred up for no damn reason or do we finally move on from this.”

“Depends, my people keep getting told we’re going to be punished and we’re going to be the first ones to fall when shit goes down. That doesn’t help me, doesn’t help them either. I run my people, I work under you but they are my people, mi familia, I take care of them and I’ll take care of them if I need to. You and your boss can stop pushing shit around whenever things don’t perfectly to your upper management plan and let me handle the people who do the handling and packaging,” I state my position to the Old Man and he thinks for a minute.

“Kid your people were out of control for more than a little bit,” he starts and Hector steps in.

“Yeah but Carlos runs these streets because we got our ears to the ground. No disrespect but I’ve been slapped by everyone in charge and the only one that meant a damn other than a bruise or a fat lip was him. We respect him, he don’t respect you we don’t,” Hector is ranting a little and I stop him.

“Respect me enough to handle my people and when I need you to get involved I will ask, fair,” I tell Jim and he nods.

He isn’t too happy about it but things will relax a little between me and my people dealing with the Union. I give it a month before I can be actually friendly with them again. Hector and I leave the Old Man and Smitty to talk heading back to our rides to find Guy has parked in between Hector and my rides. The whole crew has that look like they aren’t sure what they need to do about it and I wave them off because I don’t need or even want the hassle right now. Guy parks with our people then good for us. Most of my crew is enjoying themselves, it’s been a while for us but it’s when Imelda comes by that she sees Guy and his car that things get a little interesting.

“What the hell, where did you come from,” she asks wasting no time getting in his face.

“Ease down please I’m trying to relax and enjoy the fun,” Guy tells her holding his hand up to keep her out of his face.

“No you have had my family all twisted up and now you show up like you been here all along,” Imelda isn’t letting this go.

“If by your family you mean Carlos then yes, he was twisted up however I didn’t do it to him, he did it to himself because of things that happened between he and I and other people I don’t want to mention right now. Again please respect my space and back up a little, I’m waiting for a girl and you being this close could make her jealous,” Guy asks my cousin again and it takes a moment for her to relax.

Guy actually hangs out and I’m not sure if we should talk or what we would have in common to talk about. I really just want to figure him out and make sure things are good between us when about a half an hour after he dumps all his ‘trophies’ out in front of the Union his friend Sydney comes up and is in between the two of us as Guy is leaning against his car and I’m against mine.

“What the fuck are you doing? Get the hell away from him,” she is angry at me and I’m not sure what I’m doing,” Listen up you donkey riding asswipe, let Guy leave or so help me I’m gonna kick your testicles up to your jugular.”

“I’m not keeping him here,” I start and Guy jumps in.

“Syd I parked here because they were on either side,” he tells her but she doesn’t believe him,” Carlos and I settled our issues a while back and here, parked here keeps random people from screwing with me or my car.”

“After everything this tapatio eating shit stain and his band of fuckwits did to you and now everything is just cool and that’s it,” she’s mad and I have a few of my people staring at her and not in a happy way.

“Sydney I said that this was the day things finally get settled and I move on. Carlos and I are good… well we’re better than we were by a mile and now here you are being very insulting and a bit racist honey,” Guy is being straight and defending us a little, thankfully his girl realizes she’s been a little over the top.

“It wasn’t that bad,” now she’s calmer and a little more aware of her words.

“Hey you thought bad about us and a few months back you’d be right, but please stop with the racist shit,” I ask her and she nods a little.

“Yeah, who doesn’t like tapatio,” Hector jokes and there is a bit of a laugh with everyone.

My crew relax and get back to having a good time while Guy and Syd get a lot closer and I give them some space for a while. The whole night winds on with Guy and Sydney hanging around my people and just relaxing. A few of them apologize for shit but he accepts it like it isn’t a thing anymore and after several hours he decides that he’s heading out and I get a real handshake from him before he gets in his car with Sydney and heads for home. I stick around with my people for a little bit longer and even share a drink with Smitty before heading home, looks like it’s a new day for everyone.

Guy: Months ago in the desert

And here is Gabriel completely pissed off and here he comes at me with a knife that I’m pretty sure would make the first one I was stabbed with jealous. I look calm as I’m holding sand in my hand but I’m a little freaked out right now but outside I must look calm, I hope I look calm. I hold out the sand to Gabriel who stops and stares at it for a second before smiling and taking another step towards me. I don’t hear it but I feel the wind blow past me from behind and now I know guano has become a reality. Gabriel’s face explodes as blood and brain matter fly out the back of what was his head. The other four are staring at me in disbelief and I look to the three who were on bikes and let more sand fall from my hand. Like a bolt, or three, out of nowhere the bikers are dropped and I turn my attention to Chucklez who is staring at me with an intensely afraid look.

“Take the sand, I don’t need it anymore,” I hold out my hand to him and he scrambles to keep it from falling,” it’s you that needs to live Darren, no more following around the worst people because you feel like you don’t have anywhere else. I have a purpose for

you, I need you to keep Jenna safe. No more Chucklez, you get to be Darren again and that means cleaning that crap off your face.”

I am a little stern with him but I need to be, otherwise he could break me in half. Thankfully watching four of his people including his leader get dropped like bad habits has him listening to me, he looks at the bodies for a moment and I point back to the city and nod. I don’t see any time wasted as he reenters the van and turns back around to head back. I am standing at the ends of the desert staring at the interstate when I hear a voice from behind me.

“It took a bit to reposition, they didn’t stop as soon as you asked did they,” I hear my Dad ask.

I turn and see my father who has been missing from my life for almost a decade save for the past visits this year in full desert camoflage and facepaint holding a scoped rifle with silencer. I shrug as another two in desert camouflage make their way up to us from a different area and the shorter of the two is first to speak.

“Wouldn’t have to reposition if you were a better shot sir,” he says to my Dad who just shakes his head at him.

“No I’m the one who calls the plan and you’re the one who makes the shots Nick,” Dad responds and hands off his rifle to the larger of the other two.

“Sir we have clean up and exfil en route, we’ll be out in ten,” the one who took the rifle tells my Dad who nods.

“You don’t need to call me sir Gerry, I just needed a couple people to help get my son through some nasty business,” Dad starts and Nick is fast to jump in.

“So we call half the people in your old unit and then bring a few people from their current units and now you have more than a few sanctioned and not so sanctioned operators cleaning house on this… are they bikers,” Nick asks and I nod.

“Yes and a whole lot worse. Just a bunch of sick people who couldn’t get one task right but then again they weren’t supposed to,” I state and get a look of confusion from the two.

“Okay so your real plan was for them to screw up and die? Sir he is your son, only your child would come up with a plan that hinges on people fucking up simple tasks,” Nick tells my Dad who shrugs.

I’d get into more detail but our ride shows up with the truck and camper being towed behind it. I watch as Gwen pulls herself out of the driver’s seat and the driver’s window to yell at us.

“Get in the camper, we can drive the trip in legs. I’ll take first leg and Dad can trade off tonight,” she tells us as I walk up while Dad says his goodbye to his ‘friends’.

“I can drive you know,” I offer and I get a look that screams ‘NO’.

I get inside the camper and it’s cozy, not super small but three of us could fit back here comfortably. I’m not alone long as Dad still in his camouflage steps in and once the door is closed I feel the camper move and we’re on our way.

“Gwen wants maximum time for the three of us to bond so you don’t get to drive at all,” Dad explains and I roll my eyes,” Hey you said you wanted my help and Gwen set the cost. You spend all your time up at the ranch and she has things she wants to do with you while you’re there so prepare for space invaded bonding time.”

“I’m not spending all my time doing just whatever she has in mind, I do want to just breathe while I’m up there,” I explain and Dad laughs as he gets rubbing alcohol and a wash basin with water from the small sink.

“Well honestly I’m glad that you agreed to come up at all. Things between us haven’t been all that good even with us finding common ground,” Dad starts but stops himself.

I could explain that with everything that has been happening to me I really haven’t had time to feel or even see if I could still feel and I wasn’t about to lie to everyone about that and after Mr. Mulligan screwed me over from my plans with Carlos I couldn’t find a plan out. Then Jenna comes through and brings Gabriel down and I get a kick start on coming back. I wanted to win but I kept trying to rub their faces in it. Dad was the one who kept suggesting something more subtle and this is about as subtle as I can get, also Gabriel is just sick and so are most of his people which is why they aren’t going to be a problem in the next few days. I watch Dad clean up and then go change into some sweat pants and a t shirt before settling down and we figure out what we’re going to do till night.

Gwen: Two weeks later

I got my brother back and living the clean ranch life and aside from being a complete greenhorn it’s perfect. We spent a couple hours at one point just working on the barn and as soon as I said we’d be mucking a few stalls I had to promise that no practical jokes would happen. He doesn’t run from the work but he doesn’t look like he’s having as much fun as I’d hoped he would. I mean he likes talking with Dad and me and he enjoys hanging out with us but it’s like he doesn’t understand living away from it all. Also he works out every morning, even Daddy tells him that he doesn’t have to but he’s run the property border often enough that he knows the fence line better than the horses, and they chase him sometimes which is a mess when they realize they can’t turn like he can. Daddy went into town so this afternoon it’s just the two of us but he’s content to stare out the window at the world and that isn’t something I can just do all day.

“Come on baby brother, we need to get out and do something,” I tell him and he shakes his head no at me,” Oh no we had a deal.”

“And I’m here but I am trying to relax Gwen,” he keeps using my name and doesn’t call me sister or nothing,” besides Dad mentioned you wanting to see me without a shirt on? Can you explain this?”

“Yeah, I need to count your moles,” I tell him and he looks at me like I’m messed up,” No I just used to do it when you were a baby and it’s like how I know you are you.”

Now my brother is stripping out of his shirt and I see the scars, I feel a little bad and a whole lot of pissed off because we should have come down and got him years ago but Daddy was so in his own head he couldn’t see that Guy needed us. Speaking of my shirtless baby brother with muscles under the scars he sits down on the floor facing the window and I get to go over his back and do all the counting I remember doing when he was a baby. Yes it’s different but it’s my thing and I do the count at least ten times while he quietly sits there and doesn’t even shake or shiver.

“So I’m guessing you did this a lot,” he asks me quietly.

“Almost every night and anytime I could when you were napping,” I am not sure actually I just remember it a lot,” I told Momma and Daddy that I was gonna know you better than anyone.”

“And here I am and I don’t even really know myself,” there is that quiet darkness about my baby brother, I don’t like it.

“You know who you are, you’re just confused because a lot has happened,” I tell him but he shrugs,” So why don’t you like it up here?”

“Because this isn’t my place, I mean I wasn’t raised here and I don’t know anything about working a farm,” baby brother has it wrong again.

“It’s a ranch, we don’t grow crops here but if I get things going right with a few people in Colorado I might be able to start breeding horses,” I tell him my plans but I can’t see his face for a reaction.

“Well It’s your thing, horses I mean. You’re taking your dream and really going for it. I don’t have that,” he says and starts putting his shirt back on.

“Then why come here and tease me with the idea that you’d be moving up here,” okay he hasn’t but I want him to.

“I’m not here to move and you know it, I’m here because I can think and not get asked a million times if I’ve made a decision or be told this is what someone else thinks I should do. All you or Dad asked was ‘are you really coming up’ and ‘how long are you staying’,” Guy explains and we really haven’t thought about his future.

And off he goes from the living room to the front door and out into the open ground where I would normally have the horses out so they can run and play a little. It’s not easy for me to not look at my baby brother and get angry about Momma not taking care of him right like she should have been. I know Momma wants me to come down and visit more so she can know me better and I should but she makes me so angry with her. I follow him out and there he is just standing in the field just looking out at nature in the distance. I get close and he turns to look at me.

“Going to follow me everywhere,” he asks and I shrug, didn’t think I was bothering him,” You’re not annoying me. I’m just curious why you think I’m going to leave without telling you?”

“I lost you, Daddy lost you and now here you are and I keep thinking about how Momma screwed up and didn’t do right by you for years,” I start and he turns to face me and he’s a little angry… at me.

“First of neither of our parents are perfect but I’ve accepted what our mother did and I moved on. I am coming to terms with what our father did and did not do so if you want to know what pisses me off more it’s that I’ve been up here trying to forgive and move on with him but you won’t with her,” he snaps at me and I take a step, a small step, back.

“Momma was drinking and neglecting you,” I am arguing this now and I don’t like it.

“Yes and our father was running around doing whatever he could to forget the fact that she beat him and in his shame he went and found you. Then after he sets up this wonderful little life for the two of you does he come and get me from my living hell,” he isn’t backing down and I’m getting angry too,” No he sits on his ass and does fuck all.”

“He was scared of taking you away from your big house and money, he couldn’t match your step-Daddy,” I try to argue but he’s jumping in.

“No he was scared that he’d have to face his failure of losing to Mom and then he’d be embarrassed. I didn’t care that she brought out big guns and won the case if he would have showed his ass up and done something when he was able to but did he,” Guy asks in my face.

“Do not talk about him like that. Our Daddy has had a hard time dealing with what happened with me and then the divorce,” I argue back.

“No, he started the divorce and lost. When you were kidnapped he didn’t do anything but trust family that let him down. Of the four of us I was the one hurt, I was the one beaten and degraded. You had three people who wanted you, I had nothing for years and our father chose to do nothing to help me. Mom got her shit together and it took a while but I forgave her for what happened, Dad and I are talking and we’re coming to terms about what he did and more what he didn’t do,” Guy is quieter but more angry than I have seen him even when we met again.

“He did what he thought was best but Momma was horrible to you,” I start but again he jumps in.

“She was there, good or bad she was there. Our father was Schrodinger's cat, I didn’t know if he was alive or dead, whether he cared or not. He just wasn’t there and that is the difference between him and Mom. She fought for me and kept away like a coward,” and the argument stops now.

I just cocked back and punched my baby brother in his mouth. I’m angry for another couple seconds when I realize I just punched my baby brother in the mouth and he’s getting up slowly. I take a step back and let him get up and boy is he super pissed when we both hear sound of Daddy’s truck pulling up to the house. I haven’t been in this much trouble since I was a teenager. Guy doesn’t do anything to me or say anything to Daddy as he marches up to the house and heads inside. Daddy for his part watches him go in and looks at me with a question.

“I messed up,” I tell Daddy as he comes to me to figure out what happened.

Daddy doesn’t get mad with me or say anything to make me feel bad, he just gives me a quick one arm hug and heads inside the house. I think he is going to try to speak with Guy so I’m going to head to the barn and either saddle up and ride or hide in the hay. Spending time brushing horses and I don’t know when it happened but Daddy is there leaning up against the door watching me with a sad little smile.

“I didn’t raise you to hate people like this so explain to me why if your brother can forgive your mother and give me the chance to prove that I hated myself for not coming and getting him when he was with your mother then why can’t you figure out how to get over what she did and move on,” Daddy asks me and I stop.

“She should have been better. She was trying to drag our whole family down and when you tried to save as much of it as you could she hurt you. I can’t just sit around and pretend that I am alright with her doing that to you and Guy,” I explain and he nods a little.

“Okay but do you think that your Mother and I haven’t talked about that? She knows what she did was destroying us and I wasn’t always there to help rein her in when I was spending time trying to find you,” Daddy explains,” Your brother is here and he trusted us to keep this big ass secret plan of his from them because he wants to put things back together as much as possible. So ask yourself why don’t you?”

Okay Daddy is right and I feel like crap. He leaves me alone and I get back to tending the horses which keeps me busy all the way to dinner which Daddy made and we get Guy at the table and I cringe when I see the bruise on his face. I have to sit across from him and watch him try to chew food with a sore jaw and I almost want to run from the table when Daddy decides to talk at the table, Daddy doesn’t talk at the table.

“Guy try chewing on the other side,” he tells baby brother who shakes his head.

“I have been, I’m going to lose the tooth,” he says it and I sink a little in my chair.

“Another one, we pulled the two that were dangling in there,” Daddy asks him and he nods, I almost hide under the table now.

They look at me serious for a second before they start laughing and it takes me a second before Guy pulls cotton gauze out of his mouth and wipes some make up off of his face. They stop laughing and I come out a little grumpy but I think Guy is going to be alright with me punching him in the face over our parents.

Romeo: Two weeks after graduation

Things are getting better with the crew. Carlos has shit locked in and we’re friendlier with the Union than we have been the past few months. I know him and Abigail are doing alright because he isn’t super distracted by her and strange ass shit, her brother is back alive and according to Hector a scary motherfucker. Nobody will say what he did or had done in his name but the whole crew were told by Hector that we don’t have to worry about the Union or the head boss if we do shit to Guy because we’ll be dead and buried with nobody knowing what happened to us. It doesn’t make sense but Carlos is serious and Hector is afraid of Guy so there is something big we don’t see. I was about to meet up with Juanita on a Wednesday evening when I get a text saying someone is following her and she’s scared. I head over to where she says she is at and see her out in the open looking around nervous till she sees me. Big clue as to my concern, Juanita is a tough latina female who can out fight a couple of the men in the crew and she’s scared so I’m worried.

“Baby it’s here… that thing that got me and and and…,” she is stammering and scared.

“That one that bit your cousin,” I ask and she nods.

Then things get a little fast paced. We get in my car and we start to drive when I see someone in a dark brown coat and what looks like ski goggles and a face mask comes out of the dark of an alley and runs straight at my car. I accelerate away and see him chase for a second when I see a second person in black with a black mask on come out of the same spot and start chasing the first crazy person with what looks like a warhammer. I turn around and catch them heading where the one in black turns down at the other end of the alley and we’re playing the game of chase the crazies when we finally catch them heading into abandoned garage. Juanita is out of the car but not going in without me and once we’re inside I see the one in brown with a length of chain and a knife as the one in black actually very dangerous looking warhammer. The brown crazy whips the chain at the one in black who blocks it with hammer and goes in swinging. Brown crazy is dodging and swinging back wildly when Juanita loses her fear and in my opinion common sense and rushes the one in brown and nearly eats a length of chain but it gives the crazy in black an opening and he smashes the knee of the other with the hammer and that is about it for walking, standing and running. The brown one is trying to keep the black at bay with the weapons but they don’t hold up after the chain is ripped from its hand and the knife is knocked away with a hammer swing.

“You are unfinished business,” the black one says to the brown and why do I know him.

The brown one says nothing but Juanita isn’t about to let this moment pass her by but as soon as she tries to move in to do anything the one in black turns to us and points the hammer at her.

“This one is mine, you will not interfere,” the black crazy tells her and she isn’t thinking.

“That fucker screwed with me and my cousin and our friend months ago and I owe his ass,” she tells him, I can tell now it’s a male.

“Oh well then by all means,” he offers and she steps forward,” Are you kidding me? Of course not you don’t know sarcasm very well. That is mine, do not get between me and what is mine.”

“Listen before we decide to fight over the crazy crawling away on the floor let’s just realize we’re not enemies here,” I say and the one in black looks at me and cocks his head to the side.

“Romeo? What the hell are you doing here,” he asks and he knows me.

The black mask and goggles come off and there is Guy in black cargo pants, boots and a turtle neck. He looks confused and I think we’re a solid minute before Juanita and I can process the pure ‘holy freaking shit what the fuck’ moment we have here.

“You’re hunting him,” I ask and Guy nods.

“Yes, he’s the last one and it’s kind of like completing a set or getting all the achievements in a game. You understand,” he says turning back to the other crazy but Juanita isn’t one to let things pass.

“Oh no, we ain’t got issues anymore but we owe that crazy ass fuck… I owe that crazy ass fuck and I am not letting you take that from me,” and now Juanita has a gun, when did she get a gun.

“Really? Because you’re interfering in my business and you think that is going to help you,” Guy asks nodding to the gun,” you might want to take your best shot at me first because if you shoot him and I don’t get to finish out the set I will beat you to death with this hammer and then I’m going to beat Romeo to death.”

“How about we three calm down and realize that dude looks like he passed out and we don’t have to do anything just yet. Guy you want this… person but Juanita really had a hard time after the shit he did to her and our friends. Is there a compromise we can come to here,” I ask and he doesn’t look like he is going to budge.

“Call Carlos and see what he says, bet you he’ll tell you to back out of my business very… VERY quickly and forget what you saw here,” Guy tells us and I would like to walk away however Juanita won’t.

“Please, I need to do this,” Juanita asks Guy and he shakes his head.

“I got used to disappointment, I never got you or Hector or anyone in your crew for what was done to me and I was told that there was nothing I could do about it and to let it go. Here’s my advice, let it go,” Guy isn’t backing down and Juanita won’t either.

“I am not walking away from this crazy asshole without getting mine back,” she isn’t pulling back.

They are in a stand off and I’m messaging Carlos with our location and asking for back up. All I have to do is say Guy is here and Juanita has a gun and I get a time frame of how fast he’ll be here, he cuts that in half and has almost the whole crew in fifteen minutes. Guy is between Juanita and the crazy asshole I propped up in the corner while we waited and once Carlos and the crew get in it’s a bit of a mad house.

“What the fuck are we waiting for? This fuck burned my car! That car was a gift from my Grandpa and he chained me to it. Sorry Guy but he’s ours,” Chris tells Guy who doesn’t move except to spin the hammer around.

“He is mine, I have been tracking him for a week. You just fell into my hunt and I’m telling you right now walk away or I’ll beat you to death in his place,” Guy warns Chris who is not inclined to back down.

“Guy is there nothing I can give or offer? My people want him bad and I get that you did all the work but please I’m asking here,” Carlos is talking to Guy and Guy isn’t actually hostile towards him.

“Give me the meeting we were supposed to have when we were supposed to have it and I’ll gladly hand him over,” and here is Guy asking for the impossible.

“What the fuck are we talking about this for, we hold down Guy and take this fucker out. We don’t have to hurt him to get past him,” Juanita is thinking but not in a good way.

“No, you touch Guy and you are dead. I’ve told everyone that we don’t want that fight and I can’t even on how much we don’t want that fight. We need to walk,” Hector is defending Guy, welcome to crazyville.

“Guy just between you and me man I’m asking you to let us have this one. Yeah there is shit done between my people and you but my people can’t let this go. He fucked with us,” Carlos starts and Guy cuts him off.

“And all of you fucked with me repeatidly so I’m telling you right now you take him and I take one of you,” Guy tells Carlos,” And believe me what I do to your person will not be quick or merciful like he would get.”

“Guy, I said it already but I’m out,” Hector tells Guy and turns around leaving,” I’m not getting killed over who gets to kill the crazy asshole who fucked with us.”

“Carlos please just take Guy somewhere and let us do this,” Juanita asks Carlos who shakes his head in frustration.

“I’ll ruin you Carlos, I’ll do it so fast you won’t have time to talk your way out of it,” Guy warns Carlos as a few of our people close in around him.

Nobody says anything as our people grab Guy and with five of ours holding him on his knees Juanita leads the charge or is the charge at first as a few of ours crowd around the crazy in brown. I don’t take part because I’m watching Guy who has his head down and his eyes closed as my friends cheer on whoever is beating the shit out of the crazy. I don’t know how long they beat on the crazy but a gun goes off and the noise dies down before everything breaks up and I can see the now dead crazy with a hole in it’s goggles where someone shot it in the head. Carlos’s people let go of Guy who remains on his knees for a minute as Juanita comes over to him.

“Listen we needed this, we couldn’t just let this get away,” she tells Guy who doesn’t look at her.

I don’t know who heard the engines first but more than a few motorcycles are pulling up and we’re joined by a lot of Union men with Smitty leading and they have guns, more than a few guns. Carlos doesn’t know what is going on and neither do we.

“Carlos what did you do? What the hell did you do,” Smitty asks and he sees the body,” Is that him?”

“That was the last one and they took it from me,” Guy says to Smitty and he does not look happy.

“Well you have officially fucked up now kids and we aren’t cleaning up your mess this time,” Smitty tells us and now I realize the bad news in this situation.

The Union are here backing Guy, not us. We were warned over and over again and now we’re fucked with big ass guns pointed at us.

“Smitty let me speak to the Old Man,” Carlos asks and Smitty shakes his head.

“He’s already decided which is why I’m here,” he tells Carlos before turning to Guy,” what do you want?”

“I warned them that if they took this from me I’m taking one of them but now after the sheer audacity of the situation I think I’ll take a few just to make my point,” Guy states and Smitty isn’t stopping him.

“Guy just hold on a second,” I have to speak up here,” it was a crazy asshole, not the end of the world.”

Guy looks at me for a second and then at the body before walking over to it. We watch as he strips the body for a few moments before pulling off a vest. He’s got it in hand and gives it to Carlos who stares at it horrified.

“Oh yes Carlos, you let them take what was mine,” Guy says and his voice sounds very sinister.

“Guy please, this doesn’t have to happen,” Carlos is trying to talk but Guy doesn’t stop what he is saying.

“Ask your masters what happened to the Faces of Fear. Ask them who found them and wiped them out. Ask them who organized the en masse slaughter of those sick fucks and burned their houses down,” Guy is pacing and spinning the hammer in his hand,” that was the last one, his name was Thomas because like all of you he doubted me and even after you saw the pile and held Gabriel’s knife you just couldn’t stop yourself from taking more from me and now… well I did tell you what would happen so let’s decide on who goes first… Nah, this is pretty easy, bring me the girl.”

And I’m moving to Juanita who is being pulled away from our group by two Union men and I meet a wall of men with guns as I try to get to my girlfriend. Juanita is crying and more than a few of us are trying to speak to Guy, plead with him but he just stares at us with no emotion.

“Please don’t do this, Guy look at me! LOOK AT ME,” I yell at him but he doesn’t.

“You just don’t want to accept the fact that when you take from someone there will be a price to pay,” Guy says to us but I can barely hear him over the shouting,” Quiet down or I take another girl just to prove a point.”

We quiet down and I am scared shitless as I stare at Juanita who is looking at me with tears pouring down her face. She is speaking Spanish, I think she’s praying but Guy doesn’t care, you look at him and it’s like he’s looking at a bug he plans to step on.

“Guy I’m begging you don’t,” Carlos says and Guy turns to look at him.

“I have given to you, we made a deal and you broke that deal and now after all this and all the warnings you want to beg me off because,” Guy leaves it a question.

“This isn’t you man. I know you and you aren’t a killer, not like this. Yeah you got the Faces of Fear but they were bad people. Juanita isn’t evil like they were, she was hurt like you and she couldn’t walk away from getting hers back from him,” Carlos is trying but Guy just stares it him and then Carlos gets it, and so do I.

“You want us to suffer because of this,” I tell Guy who looks at me,” Take me, you didn’t do shit to us and I never went after you like the rest did. If anyone of us is innocent of what was done to us it’s me and that makes me the best person to kill.”

“I see your ‘logic’ and it is a good argument but you seem to think I care about what you want. This is about what I want and I told you what would happen,” Guy tells me before turning to Smitty,” I don’t need an audience and she’ll be enough, no reason to be greedy.”

They are clearing us out and I don’t move, even when one of them puts a gun to my head I don’t move. I fight the push of hands and watch as they put Juanita’s hands behind her back and cuff her, the last thing I see is Guy spinning that hammer as they close the door. Smitty has all of us get back in our cars but I won’t I’m not leaving my girlfriend to die alone in a fucking garage.

“Kid walk away or I will have to hurt you,” Smitty tells me and I don’t flinch.

“More than letting him murder my girlfriend,” I ask him and he shakes his head.

“Kid trust me this isn’t a fight we want it will cost us too much. Carlos get your boy out of here now,” Smitty tells Carlos who is not happy.

“I thought we were past this Smitty, I run my people and you’re coming in to do the dirty again. All the shit we talked about now is bullshit cause you are fucking with my people again,” Carlos tells him and Smitty doesn’t look impressed.

“You agreed we don’t get involved in that kid’s shit and what did you do? You got involved,” Smitty argues back and that’s when his people step in.

We’re forced into cars, I’m in with Carlos as he drives away from the garage and I can’t begin to try to put any words on what I feel right now. I don’t know what I have left.

Guy: Right Now

She’s crying a little, praying a little and for a curvy/slightly heavy girl she’d be pretty if she didn’t look so pathetic. Still a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do and I’m trying to figure out what would be the quickest way.

“What are you going to do with me…. after….,” Juanita I think her name is asks me.

“I’m going to call someone discreet and they will dispose of your body with his,” I point to thomas in the corner,” and then that’s it.”

“Will you tell my Mom and Dad? Will someone tell them I died,” she asks and I shake my head.

“Not like I can just go around telling people. Hell your crew probably won’t even tell them your dead but after a while everyone will know and they’ll mourn. I’m pretty sure Romeo won’t speak to me again but we weren’t friends so I’m not really missing anything,” I explain and I figure hammer side would be best,” Okay so please lower your head, I’m just going to give you one quick shot to the back of the head and that’ll be it.”

And more sobbing but I’m really not amused or concerned with it, I wanted Thomas because he was the last one and it felt right taking things in my own hands although when things got crowded Dad was quick to let the bikers know that I was beign interfered. I think he pretended to be me just to save himself the explanation. Back to the crying female on her knees he doesn’t have her head all the way down so I figure this is about as good as it gets and I bring the swing back.

“I think I’m pregnant,” and I stop.

“Really, you’re giving me a twofer now,” I ask and she sobs a little.

“I don’t know okay, I’ve been a little sick the past few weeks and I wanted to take a test but I was scared because Romeo is going to college but won’t if he knows he is going to be a Daddy and I don’t know how to be a Mom when I’m running guns,” she explains and I am annoyed but listening,” I’m not bullshitting you.”

“And you only think to say this now when it’s just us and I don’t have an alternate I can take,” I ask rhetorically.

I sit down in front of her in silence and think about this. Yes she owes me, hell they all do and does it really matter if I let her live or not? They will still keep getting in my way no matter how many chances I give them so what do I do about her?

“I’m hungry, are you hungry,” I ask Juanita, still not sure if that is her name.

“What,” a truly inspired response.

“Are you hungry? Have you eaten? Do you feel like getting something to eat,” I repeat the question in a few different ways to help her thought process.

“You’re not going to kill me,” she asks I feel annoyed right now,” we can get some food I guess.”

Finally an answer, is it always this difficult to get a woman to agree to head out and get some food? I whistle loudly and sure enough two men in black turtle necks like my own and matching cargo pants come in and unlike me they carry firearms. For her part the girl is more than a little surprised at the appearance of the two men.

“That is the last one,” I point to Thomas.

“Finally, we can pack up and move onto the next. What about the girl,” the slightly larger one asks.

“Oh, we’re going to get Ihop,” I tell them and almost see the disbelief on the one who asked face.

“Waffle House is closer, plus we can have your car and a change of clothing there,” the other informs me and I nod, waffles are good.

I have them remove the cuffs and place the hammer in the makeshift holster on my back before leading my dinner guest out of the garage and down the road. She’s following a little behind me and it’s odd but I am walking in the late evening with a warhammer on my back. We only walk a couple blocks but it is in pure silence and sure enough there is a Waffle House with my car waiting. I get the bag from the front seat and leave the hammer in the trunk before taking my guest inside. We look pretty odd but the older waitress doesn’t even care when I ask where the bathroom is, she shows a table and points to the back. I change Dad had them pack some nice clothes, just slacks and a button up shirt with a matching coat but no shoes so I’ll still be wearing boots for a bit. I head to the back and change in the handicap stall and when I come out she is still there with a menu in front of her on the table untouched by the looks of it.

“So the cover art looks good,” I ask sitting down.

“What the fuck are we doing here,” she asks me quietly.

“We are having dinner unless you want to go back to the garage,” I ask and she freezes up,” Here is what is going to happen, I now own you for the next while. We are going to eat, I’m going to pay for it and you and I are going to talk. When we are done talking I will drive you to Romeo and you two can have a wonderful moment after I leave. Now that is my plan, do you have a better one because if you do I don’t care we’re doing mine.”

She doesn’t argue with me, will wonders never cease. The slightly thick slightly muscular latina female in front of me opens her menu and begins to look at what the options are as I’m pretty sure a plate of bacon and waffles with syrup are in my immediate future. The waitress comes back and we order something to drink, milk and juice and then our food which surprises me she doesn’t order small like I’m used to. The waitress steps away and I smile a little.

“Go big on the free meal,” I ask and she shrugs.

“Could be my last meal if I’m not careful,” is her quiet reply.

“I’d like to think you’re smart enough to realize we’re past the death and killing portion of this evening so let’s make this a new experience shall we,” I tell her and she stops to think for a second.

“Is your name really Guy,” she asks and it’s a question I haven’t had in a long time.

“Yes, I like my name. Yours is Juanita right,” I ask and she nods.

“You didn’t know my name,” Juanita replies and I chuckle.

“A few of you had names that I knew but most of your friends I called a great many things. Not one of them is very polite but I do think I had and still have the right for a little name calling if I desire it,” I explain and she catches up to my use of the English language after a couple seconds.

“Who were those people at the garage,” she asks and I stop her.

“That is part of my business. I have family and we have reach, I’ve held back for a long time and now whether people who cross me or interfere live or die is at my discretion,” I explain calmly,” So you’re pregnant in truth or you wanted me to stop to buy you some time?”

“I think I am, I haven’t told anyone really. Not anyone important,” she says and I feel a little honored given the situation,” Are you going to tell people?”

“Hell yes. I am owed so very severely by you and your friends and yet you keep interfering in my affairs. You know he was mine, you could have asked me to stay and watch or at least cause him some pain before the end but you decided that taking it away from me was what you needed,” I start in and she gives me a confused look.

“You said he was going to go quick,” she argues a little.

“Yes but that was my plan and the only thing you thought about was your selfish needs. Might want to curb that a little when baby comes around,” I comment and she is really self conscious about it.

“I don’t know for sure,” hands in her lap and staring at the table while talking.

“You do, your body told you and now you’ve come to the reality that it’s decision time only now you don’t have a say in the how and where people find out. That is mine now,” I explain and she shifts a little.

I watch her get up and head to the bathroom and I figure she’s either running for her life or she actually has to use the bathroom. She’s gone for a good ten plus minutes and our food has arrived but I wait for her to return, proper manners and all, which she does and she looks a little emotionally worn.

“Did you go have a good cry,” I ask and she gives me a look like I shouldn’t know,” I have sisters, I’ve seen that face before.”

“Yeah well I’ve been up and down a lot in the past couple hours,” Juanita sits down and begins eating.

Breakfast for dinner is a trend I can honestly get behind more often since I love breakfast food and four big ass waffles and a plate of bacon have me feeling really good as I watch Juanita finish off her food and now we’re at that moment, the one where final decisions are made and I have to smile, this will be interesting.

Carlos: A couple hours after leaving the garage



I didn’t take Romeo home, hell my whole crew didn’t even break up and head off to their homes. All of us ended up at Hector’s house since his family is mostly out of the house even when they are home. We don’t get Romeo super drunk but he’s buzzed and going from crying to angry and my people want payback but Hector is the first to shut that down.

“We got in his way, we have been warned and now we paid for it with one of our own. We kept getting told and honestly I’m surprised it wasn’t me but Juanita was a good friend and we need to stop and think for once. I did and that meant me walking away and all of you should have done the same,” Hector explains and he’s right for once.

A little more drinking and talking before Guy’s car pulls up in front of Hector’s house and once the engine stops out comes Guy in a suit with no tie. He’s all smiles as my people are burning holes in him.

“Wow, rough crowd. What happened? Did someone die,” Guy asks smirking and a few people are about to step when Hector takes charge.

“Man you are pushing some buttons here. Yeah we screwed up your business but this is not the time for games,” Hector tells Guy and Guy loses his smile.

“No games but definetly some fun for me. I mean you can learn so much from someone’s most intimate moments,” Guy tells all of us stepping up to Hector,” Back… up.”

Hector does back off of Guy but now Romeo sees him and four of my people including Juanita’s family, Rolando, are holding him back.

“You killed her you son of a bitch,” Rome says it and Guy covers the distance and slaps Romeo in the mouth.

“Now I understand that this is a very emotional moment but you need to check your emotions at the door before I take severe offense to you saying anything about my mother,” Guy warns Romeo before stepping back.

“Seriously Guy this is not the time,” I tell him and he turns his attention to me.

“I can call Abby and make it the time if I really want to so don’t push me Carlos. I have been screwed with by your people so often that when I take some back you think I’m in the wrong? You need to check your ego because I have more than a few more coming my way if I decide to cash my chips in,” Guy warns me and then turns his attention to my people,” So anyone learn anything in the past couple hours? Any profound revelations about their continued existence?”

“You killed her,” Romeo mumbles but Guy isn’t paying attention.

“I learned something pretty big. Where are the ladies here? Can they just step forward so I can see some reactions here,” Guy asks and a few of the girls step forward,” So did any of you really know… eh I wanna say Chiquita? Is that right?”

“Her name is Juanita,” one of the girls spits at Guy and he smiles.

“Right, Juanita anyway were any of you close? Like besties or something,” Guy asks and the there are no good answers so he feels frustrated,” So she didn’t tell you girls that she’s pregnant?”

The whole world freezes for a second and I have to stop and take this in. He killed Juanita, she was pregnant and he killed her and here he is parading it in our faces and while more than a few of us are tearing up Romeo is bawling. Guy has no real reaction other than to smile a little and after a minute or two he speaks up.

“So atleast you don’t have to worry about excess baggage while you’re off at college,” Guy says it and that smirk, now I want to punch him.

Romeo rushes him and I don’t know where it came from but Guy catches him by the throat and is holding him on his toes almost off the ground. We watch as Guy brings Romeo to his face.

“Do not dare to think that one of you will ever touch me again without my permission. I want you to remember this night. I want it to live in your memories as the point where things changed and you had no control over it,” Guy release Rome and turns to the rest of us,” I will carve my name onto your skulls so that you’ll remember that the new rule of the land is that you get in my way and your whole existence belongs to me. If I say you die, you die.”

“Jesus we get it,” Hector tells him and he turns to him.

“You do, finally but they don’t so let me show you something,” Guy tells him and waves at his car and we all stop.

There is Juanita getting out the passenger side and walking up to Romeo quietly. There are no words or atleast I don’t have any. Romeo on the other hand scrambles to his girl and they hold each other for a moment before Guy decides to speak up.

“You are going to go to college Romeo, get a degree, make some money and take care of this… family you have growing,” Guy says to Rome who tursn to him.

“If she’s having my baby I need to be with her,” and that seems to be the wrong answer.

Again Guy moves and it’s on Romeo again as he pulls the couple apart and holding Rome’s head in his hands Guy decides to end the debate.

“You will do as you are told you small pathetic little thing because I own her life and you will take care of it the way I instruct you,” Guy yells at a terrified Romeo,” Do not think about crossing me boy or I swear that I will wait. I will wait till you feel safe, I will wait till you forgot about me. When this happens I will come and you will watch in horror as I bash her brains out because her life and that child’s life are mine to keep alive or end at any time I see fit. She knows this, she has seen just a small bit of what I can and cannot do now. Look at her and see if she understands.”

And with that Guy shoves Romeo to the ground and walks back to his car. I don’t think anyone even speaks other than Juanita telling Rome that she’s okay and it could be true that she’s pregnant. Hector is the first to say something and it’s a good time for it.

“So she’s back from the dead and we’re having a baby celebration now,” Hector offers and I nod to agree.

Guy: Back home

I’m not five feet in the door and my father is there smiling. He has that smug ‘I told you so’ look and he deserves it.

“Yeah you were right they wouldn’t leave it alone and now they are more scared of what I can do than what I have done,” I tell him and he laughs a little.

“Well just one thing I’m curious about, who wore the brown get up first? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the shit bag who was in it tonight,” Dad asks and I smile.

It was me, it was me all along but I don’t say it since he’ll probably figure it out anyway. All my plans and attempts kept bombing because I called on people I couldn’t trust or had no commitment to helping. I ask my Dad for one thing months ago and he calls in friends from two branches of the military and one from federal law enforcement who proceed to make my therapy their mission. Okay so a lot of people died but they weren’t good people and they served a better purpose in death than they would have in life. Now I can breathe deep and feel… safe I think is the word for it. Like people won’t screw with me because they can anymore. I make it to my room and get inside with the door closed when it hits me hard and I begin to weep. I don’t know how quiet I am as I sit on my knees in front of my door but I’m not quiet enough as Mom nearly knocks me over with the door and I don’t move from where I lay as she picks me up and begins asking me all the usual questions you’d ask but I can’t answer because I don’t feel it anymore. Years pass but probably it’s only minutes when I can sit up enough for my Mom and my Dad who are looking at me think they can finally get an answer to the questions they want to ask.

“Guy are you alright? What happened,” Mom is the first one to ask since Dad knows what has been going on.

“I’ll be alright Mom, I’m just tired and I don’t feel like I used to,” I tell her which is no answer and she doesn’t like it.

“Guy tell me what is going on,” Mom asks again and I have to take a second to figure out how to describe it.

“I don’t feel it anymore. The pain… the revenge… the need to get after everyone. I don’t feel it Mom,” I tell her and she doesn’t quite understand and it’s my father who places his hand on my head.

“It’s over Loretta, he is free of it,” Dad says and Mom thinks for a moment.

Dad leaves me and Mom to just sit and she holds me because I’m her baby and after everything that has happened and hasn’t happened we’ve been up and down but I feel like I’m off the ride and ready for something with less consequences, like life. Mom and I get up from the floor and I get one of those long hugs where someone tries to make sure you’re okay by holding onto you nearly forever. She does finally release me from the hug and leave me to get some sleep tonight because I’m just spent.

Next morning I’m up and realize that I slept through my alarms and it’s almost eleven which is really off for me. I get up and dress so I can try to find some food which I do as Mom saved some of breakfast for me but nobody is home. Everyone had something to do today and the world didn’t revolve around me which feels good. I like attention but it’s been a lot and often so now here I am with nothing to do so I put the word out to a trio of females, not in the same message because I’m not stupid, that I’m free and I want to do something fun. Emily is running the counter at her parent’s store and won’t be free till seven in the evening, not even when I offer to buy out half the place. Not really but I’m trying. Jenna has some wrap ups for her latest shoot and then she’s meeting with a connection, guessing for her modeling, about her courses at her college. I’m waiting patiently for a bit on Syd and actually have time to shower and dress when I get a message back telling me that she would like to see me but she’s trying to figure out what her family is going to do about her going to college. I find this to be a great opportunity to head over and tell her I’ll be by which gains me a phone call from Sydney.

“Hey I’m grabbing my keys and about to head over to you right now,” I tell her and I hear someone in the background talking.

“Yeah Guy I can’t right now. My parents and I are going over what we’re going to do about my college,” Syd tells me and I smile at that, she has options.

“Great, I’m pretty undecided here so if we put both of ours together we can work something out that will have us together,” I explain and I hear her pause, I actually heard her pause.

“Where were you last night,” she asks and I think for a second.

“I was out finishing up everything so I can move on to new things,” I state and she doesn’t wait.

“So that night at the races wasn’t the final thing like you said it was,” she asks rhetorically and a little angry,” because you said to me it was the end of it and you were moving on.”

“Something came up and I had to deal with it, nothing horrible and nobody was hurt,” I leave a couple huge details out.

“So just one more thing but now it’s all done? But what about the next thing? Or the one after that,” Syd is bringing out the heavy artillery but I feel free of it and am just waiting for her to let me speak.

“You’re right and something did come up after I said it was over. I didn’t think about that and I’m sorry Syd. It is over now, I have nothing left and don’t want to be involved with any of it ever again. I just want to come over and put the important things first,” I tell her and she doesn’t wait to answer.

“And what is that,” she asks and I don’t know if it’s her being angry or just hurt but I’m not enjoying this conversation.

“Well it’s you and me, I’ve been so pulled away that I want to try to mend,” I get that far before she stops me.

“And that time has passed,” I hear my words and I realize where I’m standing in this situation,” too many times Guy, too many where you just push me aside and head off to do whatever you need to for you. I can’t keep waiting and now I have to look at where I’m going and what I’m going to be doing with my life. I can’t revolve everything around you and you have to accept that because I had to when I came over last night and your sister said you were out taking care of some business. I didn’t know exactly what it was but I knew what it was about and I am done being second to it.”

“Syd I swear that it’s over,” I start and again she stops me.

“It is, you have been a good friend and I would have liked to see what we could have been but you’re not capable of doing that and I’m not interested in playing second to whatever you ‘have to do’ or ‘need to finish’ next. Take care of yourself Guy and don’t call me or come over,” Syd says and then just hangs up.

All of that, the time we were friends and the brief period of more done and gone in a ten minute phone call. I want to call her back and I know I would have done that before last night but instead I just put my phone down and think about things for a little while. I know I haven’t been the best person at putting other’s first but I thought, or hoped that of all people Sydney would understand and at least give me the chance to prove that things were over and done. I put the word out that I am free and want to get together with friends and go out and live. Three hours and nobody contacts me, a few do to say how busy they are and that they’d love to hang out but nobody actually wants to be around me. Go through all my clothes and see the change in my wardrobe. It goes from jeans and cargo pants to suits to preppy wear and I don’t know if any of it is really me anymore.

No.

Is this what my life has led me to, I just sit around and wait for things to happen so I can react to them? Am I just going to be alone as the world moves on and I still don’t have a place in it? I’m here in a big house that I have only the past year thought of as a home with people that for the same time I’ve only recently thought of as family. Jenna and Emily are new but Sydney, I miss her.

I did not hide while the others abandoned him just to watch as he whimpers about things not going his way and does nothing, time to man up boy we’re going for it.

I look around my room for my coat and keys, I need to get out of here and after a few minutes realize that I’m wearing the coat and my keys are in the pocket. I’m fly down the stairs and into my car, I have to go right now. I actually pass Rosa who just smiles at me even though I must look serious, I got serious work to do.

Sydney: Two days later

“Honey are you sure about this,” Dad asks me and I nod but mostly in frustration.

“Yes, he this war of his will never be over. As soon as he finds someone else that has screwed with him he’ll be right back at it and I’ll be either watching and waiting for the worst to come out of it or… or I don’t know Daddy,” I hate feeling like this but it’s for me.

“Guy was a little obsessed with things and he did say he was done but you don’t have to cut him out completely,” Mom adds as she is getting her things ready for work.

“Mom I do for me. I can’t keep letting him drag me around his problems,” I tell them and it’s more than that.

“Cutting him out because you love him doesn’t help you or him, set some ground rules and make him follow them,” Mom adds and Dad is first to chime in.

“Like I’m not allowed to cook unless I have a grill, or I’m not allowed to work more than four days in a row without coming home. Then there is the no more than one truck at the house no matter how many of my tools are in them,” Dad goes down a small list of Mom’s rules and gets a slap to the arm for it while laughing.

I do love Guy and I’ll miss him but a clean break is what everyone, meaning the internet advice columns, say it’s the best way to break up with someone and since I don’t even know if we were together this is for the best. I sit in my room and I think one of the men Dad works with have come by because I hear the air hydraulics his for a truck stopping. I don’t hear much else and even check my phone, he didn’t even call. Okay I told him not to but still I wanted him to just to see if he really cared then I would at least know this is as difficult for him as it is for me. It sounds like Dad is working on something outside, Mom must have left because it is one of her rules because he sets everything up but never seems to get it all put away, he left tools out one time and I think a screw driver somehow popped one of Mom’s tires.

Wake up

Run for your life with me

Wake up

Run for your life with me

In another perfect life

In another perfect light

We run

We run

We run


Who the hell has their radio up so loud!? It’s a good song and I head out of my room to see Mom and Dad in the living room staring out the window at the front yard and there are people there, a lot of people. I get out the front door and a few people turn to see me before turning their eyes back to the big rig with a flat bed on it parked in front of my house. The cop cars around it have things under control I think but they aren’t stopping the band on the truck bed/stage as they play and there is Guy singing.

Before the time runs out

There's somewhere to run

Wake up

Run for your life with me

Wake up

Run for your life with me


I recognize some of the people here, they are from school, hell some of them are in that gang that was kicking the shit out of Guy. There are a few of the jocks from school too and most of the people are getting down but Guy isn’t looking at anyone, I can tell because he’s looking at me when he’s not covering one of my new favorite songs. I can only get about four feet off my parent’s porch as the people are crowding up before two big linemen, one of them I have seen naked and wasn’t impressed, help part the mass of people and get me about five feet away. Guy has on a sleeveless t shirt and green cargo pants as he holds a microphone and keeps going on through the song before ending in a big instrumental number. People clap and cheer and I’m here with the biggest asshole on the planet on a stage he brought to my front yard to get my attention and yes I get the message in the song. Everyone calms down as Guy sits down on the edge of the stage and stares at me with a sad, kind of hopeful smile. That’s when I see it, this isn’t Guy from weeks ago with plans of vengeance and it’s definitely not Guy with the suits and the smooth talking. This is Guy that should have been after the dance, our dance. This is just Guy and he’s here waiting for me to do something.

“Can we get a little privacy,” I ask and he laughs.

I watch him talk to the band and the crew that did the set up, holy crap there are like ten of them then he says something to Carlos who directs traffic of students to head somewhere else. Finally he says something to a woman standing next to a cop car who nods and after the band is packed up in twenty minutes or so, they are fast it’s me and Guy in my front yard.

“So is this private enough,” he asks and I’m so embarrassed right now I could punch him.

“I thought I said don’t come over, don’t call. What the hell do you think you’re doing here,” I ask him and I have to stay strong here.

“I am showing you who I am and that I wasn’t making this up on the phone. I am done,” he waves his hands at himself,” this is just me now and me wants you. Hell I want you so bad I’ll find a cover band, crew, truck driver with a flatbed and audience just to sing you one of your favorite songs in front of your house because this is the last me. This is just me now.”

God he is frustrating, incredibly romantic yes but I can’t do this again and I stomp back to the house and slam the door after me. Mom and Dad are staring at me and I shake my head and shrug at them. Mom sits down and Dad just comes over and takes me by the upper arms to look me in the eyes.

“Do you love that boy,” Dad asks me and I don’t like it when I’m put in these spots.

“Yes,” I have to answer.

“Then you better hurry because he’s left the yard and heading for his car,” Mom adds and now I run.

He didn’t park far and is about to turn around when I slap his passenger side window to scare him into stopping long enough for me to get in and grab him.

“You’re not screwing around anymore? This is all you now nothing else,” I ask Guy and he looks at me for a moment.

“I wasn’t very interesting when we were friends, I’m not sure I’m really that interesting now but at least you don’t have to worry about me sitting up at night plotting and scheming,” he answers me and I smile a little.

“Where were you going to go,” I ask and he turns his eyes back to the road.

“I promised a bunch of people I’d do some covers with the band I paid for,” he says like he isn’t too enthusiastic about it.

“Hey, you can sing to me all alone later,” I promise him and now he smiles.

It’s a smile, a real one not his old ‘I have a plan and know shit smile’. I think he’s finally done messing around and now we can try a real relationship. A real life for the two of us.

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A New Day, The Other Me chapter 14

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Comments (13)
Ghost 91 — 06 April 2018 16:47
Poi thank you for such a epic final to the alt saga and it was well worth waiting for
GrumpyGus — 06 April 2018 16:05
Excellent finish to an alternate universe type of story from the other Guy Donally series. It got kinda dark there for awhile but the finish was outstanding.
guyver30 — 06 April 2018 14:40
I had almost given up hope. I am glad you were able to finish the story. The only thing I still wish for is to see what Guy, the man does with his life.
Former nerd — 06 April 2018 14:23
I have been waiting with baited breath for the final chapter, and I love it! Excellent wrap up and several twists that I did not see coming! Thank you for a most excellent series! All of them!
P.O.I.07 April 2018 06:50
Honestly everyone aside from injury and computer fuck up it was me adding too much that the story didn't need.
J.E.B — 07 April 2018 15:41
Good work POI
Pete691 — 07 April 2018 19:31
Do you have plans to continue with a new story arc their is so many ways you can go and many of us truly enjoy reading your stories.
Pete691 — 07 April 2018 19:30
Do you have plans to continue with a new story arc their is so many ways you can go and many of us truly enjoy reading your stories.
tazman7511 — 08 April 2018 03:37
Thank you POI for finishing this story. I have read all of them several times, and will again. You are the best writer on this site. Please continue with the original Guy and the college years. More on the birth of the twins, how he set his company up, finds clients, and helpers. That would cap off this series in a fantastic way......TAZ
Zatch — 08 April 2018 07:11
Wow, I was re-reading the first series, but saw the new story had posted. Had to read it immediately. Great story, crazy twists, and an amazing ending. Great work!
GhostCharger — 09 April 2018 04:05
Holy Granny Rooting Shitballs!

POI that was awesome! Didnt see it coming at all.
Like always it seems to go somewhere obvious then you veer off in a completely different direction and throw everyone off. So Darren / Chuckles was the only surviver and in charge of protecting the girl that he actually respected and fixed his face.
Amazeballs!
I take it it is going to be awhile before you start another, if you do, you an an astounding writer and should seriously think about releasing these as novels. Gentleman has done an amazing job releasing his Driven series
i cannot wait to see what you hopefully come up with next.
-Ghost
P.O.I.11 April 2018 04:19
I've thought about doing the college years but it is better as flashbacks. Nobody needs to see Guy cramming for tests in a locked room to keep Katy out because she's horny.... wait a minute. -Tazman
It's not going to take a while for me to start the next series, I've already begun. Just working out more of the details as I storyboard. -Ghost

Honestly folks thank you for keeping me going as I was in serious pain and troubles.
Meltatron — 11 April 2018 09:36
Can’t wait for the next series man. Hope everything is well in your life. Thank you very much for your hard work.
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