Generation 4, Chapter 16

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NSFW, naughty stuff >_>
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My eyelids slowly lifted, blinking a couple of times to focus my vision and I noticed I was still at my uncle’s cabin, lying on the couch as I looked up at the ceiling. I couldn’t move just yet, feeling my phone buzz in my pocket and I knew from how the buzz felt that I had missed calls and text messages waiting to be read, more than likely from Isaiah, but I didn’t bother looking at them quite yet. I had a headache that seemed as if it wasn’t ever going to go away, picking up my arms slowly and I looked at my hands, noticing they were clean with no traces of blood and I looked down at myself, noticing I was wearing a clean shirt, too.. Why was I able to handle seeing blood so well last night? What had come over me? What happened last night wasn’t just a dream, or rather, a nightmare, was it? 

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I heard soft, gentle cooing of an infant and I sat up quickly, looking around towards the kitchen and I saw my Aunt Nina holding a baby, knowing now that last night wasn’t a nightmare anymore. I didn’t remember much, but I remember enough to the point where it made my stomach turn and I still had a hard time convincing myself that whatever I remembered actually happened, but for now, I’ll try to ignore it. I smiled as I looked at my son in her arms, seeing Aunt Nina then look towards me and she smiled when she saw that I was awake.

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“Hey, you’re finally up,” she pointed out.

“What time is it?” I asked with a groggy tone.

“Almost six.”

“In the evening?

“Yeah, you’ve been out cold since last night.. You must’ve been really exhausted,” she replied and I sighed heavily.. Shit.. I knew Isaiah was probably worried about me, or at least wondering where the hell I was and wanting to know when I’d be home.. I need to call him and let him know I’m okay and that I’ll be coming home tonight, like I had promised him.

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I slowly brought my feet off the couch and placed them on the ground, taking my time as I sat up and I could feel how sore and exhausted I still was from last night, still trying to completely grasp what had happened, all the while wanting to completely forget about it.. I eventually stood up and stepped over towards my aunt, noticing her keeping her smile as she watched me come closer and I gazed down at my son within her arms. 

“How is he?” I asked.

“Pretty perfect, actually.. Very healthy..” She replied and I was pleased to hear it, “It’s been a while, you’ve gotten quite handsome over the years,” she complimented and I smirked.

“Thanks,” I replied, “It’s good to see you again.”

“You, too,” she answered, my hand reaching up and I caressed my little boys face with the back of my index finger. He was so, so soft.

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“Do you know what you want to name him?” My Aunt Nina wondered and I shook my head.

“No, haven’t given it much thought.. I didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, so I wanted to wait until they were born to try and decide on something.. I think I’ll wait and discuss it with my partner, I’m sure he’d like to help me think of something,” I replied and she smiled more with a nod.

“That’s nice of you, I’m sure he’d like that, too.. You’re uncle mentioned him briefly, how long have you two been together?”

“Uhm.. About seven months, I think.”

“Oh, so it’s still new and exciting, huh?” She questioned and I chuckled, nodding in response.

“Yeah.. Very exciting,” I replied, though my meaning of ‘excitement’ leaned a little more towards ‘hectic’ from what we’ve been through together.

“Well, you seem very happy.. This is actually the happiest I’ve seen you in a very long time,” she pointed out.

“Yeah.. It’s been hard and I’ve had a lot to deal with, so has he, but he’s helped me a lot.. I don’t know where I’d be without him,” I replied and she smiled warmly.

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“Do you mind?” I asked, implying that I wanted to hold my little man and Aunt Nina nodded happily.

“Of course.. Congratulations, by the way,” she answered, handing me my son and this was the first time I was able to properly hold him in my arms. He was so small and fragile, as light as a feather, not to mention completely beautiful and I didn’t even want to blink so I could stare are him for as long as I wanted. I was finally a father, something that I hadn’t ever imagined would happen in all my life before I had met Isaiah.. It felt invigorating.

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“Do you mind me asking how the mother is?” My aunt wondered and I froze for a moment.

“She, uhm.. Died.. During childbirth..” I replied, not knowing what else to tell her, let alone what my uncle had told her.. If he had told her anything, however, I automatically assumed he would say something similar, if not the same.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that..” She replied with remorse and I nodded.. I guess my uncle didn’t really tell her anything at all about what happened..

“It’s all right, we were never really that close, or even on good terms..” I replied, hesitating a moment, “Are you staying here?” I asked my aunt, changing the subject and still looking at my son as I chatted with her.

“Yeah.. You’re uncle is going to go out and get a new bed so we can sleep tonight before the stores close and I brought plenty of things with me to care for your little one until you’re ready to bring him home. I already fed him, changed him.. He’s just been trying to nap now.. I promise while you’re gone that I won’t ever leave his side,” she answered and I looked up towards her, smiling appreciatively.

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“I wish I didn’t have to go,” I answered, “Thank you for doing this, though, for watching over him for me.. I know we don’t see one another often and this is so out of the blue, but thank you for helping.”

“No thanks needed.. We’re family, Ollie, this is just what we do,” she replied and I nodded with a smile on my lips.

“So.. Are you and Uncle Gareth..? You know..” I implied, wanting to know if she still held a grudge against him for what happened between him and my mother, and it was the first time I had seen my aunt without a smile on her lips ever since I had woken up, though her cheeks turned a gentle pink, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry..”

“It’s all right.. And I never really know what we are, so it’s hard to say,” she answered.

“Do you still love him?” I asked and she giggled softly.

“Well.. I guess I always will.. He gave me my beautiful Katalina, after all.. How could I not just for that one reason?” She asked rhetorically and I smiled, “I doubt we’ll ever be together again, but he’ll always have a place in my heart,” she continued, “Do you love the one your with?” She asked in return. 

“Yeah, he means everything to me.. And now, so does this one,” I replied, looking down at my little boy and watching him sleep in my arms, Speaking of, I should probably call him.. He’s probably wondering where I am,” I continued, stepping closer to my aunt and she took my son from me.

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“We’ll give you some privacy. Me and the little one will be outside with the others by the bonfire,” she answered and I raised my brow.

“Others?” I questioned and she simply nodded, not going into any more detail like I had expected her to and I watched as she went out the back door with my son.. I’ll just see for myself what she meant after I call Isaiah.

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I removed my phone from my pocket, catching up on what I had missed and I noticed that Isaiah had called me twice, leaving me a text message, as well, asking when I would be home. I called him back, slowly pacing around the kitchen as it rang and he picked up only after a few moments.

“Hey, I tried calling a few times. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.. I’m sorry.. It was a long, exhausting night.. I actually woke up only a few minutes ago,” I replied.

“Oh, damn.. Well, it’s good that my light-sleeper got plenty of rest.. How’s your uncle?” He questioned and I smiled to his words.

“He’ll be fine.. How are you, though? Are you doing okay?”

“As good as I can be, been in bed all day.. Are you still coming home tonight? You promised me you would be,” he implied and I could tell from his tone that he was smiling on the other end, no doubt wanting to pick up where we had left off the last time we saw one another.

“I know, I know.. I’ll be home tonight, I’m still keeping my promise.. I just need to finish up a few things here. I’ll text you and let you know when I’m leaving.. I can’t wait to be back home with you,” I answered.

“I can’t wait, either. I’ll see you soon, then. I love you, Oliver.”

“I love you, too.. Bye,” I replied, hanging up and sliding my phone back into my pocket.

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After my phone call, the bedroom door caught my eye, contemplating going over and looking inside, but I didn’t know if I should.. Would there still be blood all over the floor? Is the bed still struggling to soak up the amount of blood there was? ..Was Jody still in there? I had too many questions that I wanted answers to, my heart beginning to race a little as I stepped over towards the bedroom door and reached for the handle, turning the knob and slowly pushing it open. 

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There was.. Nothing.. Nothing but the strong smell of cleaning products and my nose stung from how powerful it was. There wasn’t a single drop of blood on the floor, the bed was gone, Jody was gone.. It just looked like a normal, empty room that was missing its bed.. Had my uncle done all of this by himself? Surely he wouldn’t have made my Aunt Nina clean up anything in the bedroom, she’d ask too many questions, but he couldn’t have done this all by himself, especially with that bad knee of his.. Seeing the room like this gave me answers to the questions I had asked myself in the living room, but it also arose more questions now that I had seen it for myself.. What did he do with the bed..? And what did he do with Jody’s body?

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I heard the back door open and close, then footsteps approaching the bedroom, knowing just by the sound of them that it was my uncle and I turned to face the door, “Hey, kid..”

“Hey..” I replied quietly, “What the hell happened last night?” I asked and he seemed confused.

“You don’t remember any of it?”

“No, no.. I mean.. I remember bits and pieces, or maybe I’m just blocking out what I don’t want to remember..” I replied, looking back towards the floor of the bedroom, “I killed Jody, didn’t I?” I asked and there was a long pause before my uncle answered.

“Yeah.. You did,” he confirmed and I shut my eyes, letting it sink in for a moment before reopening them and asking more questions. 

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“And.. Where is she? ..Her body?”

“Ezra and I took care of it. You don’t need to know any more than that,” he answered and I understood. 

“The knife?”

“Disassembled and burning.”

“The bed?”

“Same.. Being burned outside.”

“What about the floor? How did you clean all of that up?”

“Ezra has his own concoction of cleaning shit that got rid of it.. But, I’m still going to have to replace the floorboards. He just cleaned it up for now so Nina wouldn’t freak out, but when she leaves, I’ll replace them and burn the old ones.. Ezra is going to take care of her car, as well, when he leaves. I had to burn my rug in the living room because of you, too.. I loved that thing,” he replied. He really did have an answer for everything, but there was one thing I still needed to know..

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I looked back at my uncle once again, “What happened to my clothes? I.. I fainted after all of it, didn’t I? And how the hell do I not have a drop of blood on me anymore? You and Ezra didn’t bathe me, did you?” I asked and he chuckled.

“No, that wasn’t our doing..”

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“After you had fainted, Ezra got here shortly after and he helped me bring you into the bathroom. We put you in the tub, needing to deal with everything else before dealing with you, so that’s what we did.

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When Nina got here around two in the morning, I still had that room checked out at the motel I was staying at while you and the girl were here, so I told her to go there and take care of the baby until I said it was okay to come back.. I didn’t want the baby to be breathing in all the cleaning fumes, anyhow..

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After she was gone, we got to work. We dealt with Jody first, or rather, Ezra did.. I’ll skip the details on that.. Then we took care of the rug in the living room, the bed, then the floor. It took us about eight hours to get everything cleaned up.. Burning everything and then getting rid of the car are the last steps.”

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He had finished explaining, but he still left out how someone had bathed and changed me like my own infant son needed to be, “But.. That still doesn’t explain how I wound up like this,” I pointed out, seeing my uncle look to me and he smirked.

“Oh.. Must’ve forgot about that part,” he teased, knowing full well that he hadn’t forgotten about it like he claimed.

So?” I asked more in demand, “Why are you avoiding the subject?”

“I’m not really avoiding it, just wondering if I should tell you or not.”

“Why? ..Did I do something embarrassing while I was passed out?” I asked and he chuckled.

“No.”

“Then tell me!” I demanded.

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“It was your old man,” he finally answered and my eyes widened in surprise, “He showed up as we were cleaning the floor.. Had no idea he was coming.. While we cleaned up the house, he cleaned up you.. Must’ve sat next to you lying in that tub for hours, making sure not a single drop of red was on ‘ya.. Cleaned your hair, face, everything about you. Took a shirt of mine and changed you out of the bloody ones, then we brought you to the couch and he cleaned the bathroom.. Threw your clothes in the fire, too.. I was pretty surprised to see him, so was Ezra, though he hasn’t said all that much since he’s gotten here. He kind of just.. Showed up, and started cleaning you up like he was meant to be be here and be doin’ it the whole time.. Been pretty quiet, but I think it’s because he’s around me, and of course, the initial shock of seeing you all grown up and stuff,” he continued and I couldn’t keep my hands from shaking, nor the rest of my body.

“Is.. Is he still here?”

“Mm-hm.. He’s out back by the fire. I’m surprised he stayed this long, so you better get out there now if you wanna see him before he disappears again,” he answered.

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I watched as my uncle stepped out of the way and at first, I took slow steps towards the door, leaving the bedroom and I then quickened my pace, going straight for the back door and I ran outside, clearing the stairs completely with one jump and when I got about more than half way towards the bonfire, I slowed my run to a sudden halt, seeing Aunt Nina standing in between two men with black hair, one paying attention to the fire as the other looked at my son as my aunt held him.

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At first, I was confused, not recognizing either one of the men and assuming that my uncle had just played a trick on me.. But, when Aunt Nina looked up at me and smiled, I noticed the man standing in front of her look up to her face, growing curious as to what she was looking at and once he looked over his shoulder towards me, I thought my heart stopped beating when our eyes met. His hair was completely different, but his eyes were the same as when I had last saw him..

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“Hey, Ollie,” my father said softly, his voice sounding of relief and content towards seeing me and I could feel water beginning to build in my eyes just from the sound of his voice..

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I couldn’t even fathom how to describe how I felt, I couldn’t even move.. I could barely breathe.. I haven’t seen him or heard his voice in over a decade and a half and I was a stone statue with the act of shaking being my only sign of being alive.

“What are you waitin’ for, kid? Go on,” my uncle encouraged as he stood behind me on the deck. 

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Eventually, as my father stared at me, I didn’t know what came over me and rage was the first thing I felt.. I knew my expression showed exactly what I was feeling and my father seemed to notice right away.

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“Take him inside, Nina,” my father instructed, getting her and my son away from him and I assumed he knew what was about to happen. I had the immense urge to punch the shit out of him, and surprisingly, that’s exactly what I let my body do.

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I started walking quickly, then running straight for my father within a second and I brought my fist back when I reached him, “You son of a bitch!” I yelled and I hit him so hard in the jaw that I was convinced I had fractured my hand, my knuckles instantly throbbing and watching as he took the hit without a struggle or even so much as putting up his hand to block my attack.. I watched as he fell onto the grass and his glasses flew off and through the air, my little boy crying and he was most likely woken up from my loud voice, hearing my aunt trying to calm him as she brought him inside.

“Oh, shit!” Ezra expressed the moment my father went down to the ground.

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“Ollie!” I heard my Uncle Gareth call out, knowing he had been watching and I heard him and Ezra quickly run up behind me and they grabbed me tightly, holding me back as I stared at my father and I tried my hardest to get out of their grip so I could hit him more.

“Let me go! ..This..! This fucking bastard! He..! He left me!” I spoke angrily towards my uncle in a way to convince him that my punch was just and completely necessary, but I then spoke to my father as I continued to yell, “Let me beat the fucking shit out of you for leaving me and Camilla! What the fuck do you have to say for that, huh!?” I continued to yell as my uncle and Ezra managed to continue to hold me back and my father simply just stared at me, watching him wipe the back of his hand over his lip and he looked at the small amount of blood on his hand from the cut I had caused from my knuckles.

“Calm the fuck down!” My Uncle Gareth stressed as him and Ezra held me, and soon, I couldn’t contain the anger I felt and tears streamed down my face as I stared at my father on the ground, hating him as I looked at him, continuing to try and pull myself out of their grip.

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“Let him go,” my father casually requested to my Uncle Gareth and Ezra.

“Are you serious?” Ezra wondered in a baffling tone.

“He’s pretty fucking pissed! You sure?” My uncle questioned with worry and I watched as my father nodded as he slowly stood to his feet and regained his composure, picking up his glasses and putting them back on his face.

“Just do it,” he confirmed and I was happy that they had let me go, running straight up to my father and gripping his black clothes.

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“Who the fuck are you to show up now, of all times!? You’re a piece of shit for leaving me! ..For leaving Camilla! I don’t even fucking want you here, I’m better off without you, so why?! Why are you here!?” I yelled, continuing to hold his clothing tightly, yet my tears got the best of me. I stood there, crying hysterically as I held him while trying to be persuasive and intimidating, but once my father’s arms wrapped around me and pulled me against him, I felt myself collapsing into his chest, eventually resting my forehead against his shoulder.

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Why are you here..” I expressed just above a whisper as my sobs continued.. I was lying. I wanted him here with me, I wanted him here fifteen years ago, but I had no idea why I said I didn’t.. I’m beyond frustrated, beyond angry with him, but most of all, I’m beyond happy that he was finally here with me and I was a complete wreck as he held me.. I eventually let go of the front of his clothes, bringing my arms out from between us and I wrapped them around him, gripping the back of his jacket as if I dare to let go, I’d fall straight of the Earth.

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“He’s okay, just give us a minute,” my father expressed in a somewhat demanding manner towards my uncle and Ezra and without a word, they left us alone and I heard them go inside the house. 

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I felt him hug me tighter, knowing he was holding me and giving me the time I needed to gather myself and I felt he knew how much time I needed.. He probably needed just as much time as I did.. I never thought I’d ever get to do this again and I didn’t want to let go, fearing that he’d be gone again the moment I would.

“Ahh, shit..” My dad expressed in defeat and I was surprised when I had heard my dad’s nose running and him sniffling softly, though he tried to hide his emotions from being so obvious. He didn’t know how obvious they truly were, and how much I loved hearing it.

“I’m sorry, Oliver.. I’m so sorry,” he finally apologized, something I had waited for for fifteen years, though never expected to get, “I know I can’t make it up to you.. I can’t give you back the years you had to spend without me and I can’t give you back the life you were supposed to have with me.. With your mother.. But, this is where you do everything better than me, you’re already such a bigger and better man than me. I know it seemed like you were out of options, but this is the one and only time you’re going to take a life.. That ends right here, right now, do you understand me? No matter what you did, I’m proud of you. I’m so proud of you, son,” he spoke quietly as his head rested against mine, his words like a beautiful symphony to my ears. Eventually, I was able to calm down my sobbing to the point where only my nose was running, but he still held me until I’d give him a sign that he could let go and I took that opportunity to hold on for as long as I wanted.

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After a few long minutes, I was finally able to gather myself and we pulled away from one another, reaching up to wipe my tears away and dry my cheeks and I could barely make eye contact with him. It was almost too surreal, I still had a hard time believing it.. I was also a little embarrassed by how much I had cried.

“How did you know to come here?” I asked through my weathered tone, my view towards the ground, though I could feel him looking at me and it only made me not want to look up even more. 

“I know a lot about a lot of things.. Believe it or not, I’ve been keeping an eye on you, making sure you’ve been doing okay. I wasn’t around a lot when you were younger, I tried to stay as far away as I could in the beginning, but I managed to be able to get closer in the past couple years since the heat had died down on my case. With the help of your uncle, too, I’ve been pretty in tune with what you’ve been up to.. He’s told me all the details, I knew about the plan the day you brought her to the cabin.. I’ve been waiting for her to get what she deserved, though I hate that you were driven to do such a thing,” he explained and I finally looked up at him.

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“You knew?” I asked and he nodded, “W-Why didn’t you show up sooner? I even asked Uncle Gareth if there was a way to get in touch with you that night and he said no!”

“Because he was right, there wasn’t any way. I called him after he had left the cabin and went to a motel a couple miles away.. And I didn’t show up sooner because I knew her brother was a problem for you and would be a problem later on.. Had I shown up any sooner at the cabin, I might’ve not been able to be at the bar the night Isaiah got jumped by him,” he answered and a sense of calm and gratitude rushed over me over everything else I was feeling.

“So, it was you that helped him..?” I asked with hope and he nodded, my tears instantly coming back and I rushed to wrap my arms around his neck, hearing him laugh softly as I did so.

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“T-Thank you.. Thank you so much.. I-I.. I don’t know what I’d do without him..” I expressed, feeling a few tears falling down my cheeks and I really wished I was strong enough to keep my emotions in check, but with everything that’s happened in less than twenty four hours, I was a complete mess and everything seemed to be an emotional trigger, even the little things that didn’t matter.

“I know, I know..” He comforted, hugging me tightly in return, “He’s a good person, I can tell.”

“The best person,” I corrected him and I heard him hum a warm chuckle, “There’s so much I want to tell you about, so much I want to show you, but I feel like I’ll never get to,” I continued and I felt him let go of me. I let go of him, as well, and my view went down, but his hands came up and pulled my view up towards him, making me look at him.

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“I already know so much, Oliver.. I know of Isaiah and I’ve met him.. Granted, in a bad circumstance, but I do know him.. I know you live happily together above a coffee shop, I know all about your schooling, and I even got to meet my grandson. Best of all, I finally got a chance to see you again and apologize, like I’ve been wanting to do this whole time.. You’ve already shown me so much without even knowing it, Oliver,” he answered and now the tears that formed in my eyes were happy ones, but I refused to let these ones fall.

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“..I’m sorry for hitting you,” I apologized and he smiled, letting go of holding my head in place and I wiped away the new set of tears in my eyes before they fell.

“It’s all right. I knew it was coming.. I didn’t expect you to be able to hit that hard, though.. Almost had me seeing stars, son,” he joked and I laughed weakly, liking the word ‘son’ coming from his lips, “It was really great being able to see you again, Oliver.. You’ve grown up to be such a strong, passionate, humble young man and I’m so proud of you. You deserve nothing but the best in this world. You know that, don’t you?” He asked and it took me a moment to answer him, but eventually, I nodded as my view met the ground momentarily. 

“You’re leaving already, huh?” I asked, looking back up to him, “Even if you know everything already, I still want to talk.. I have so many questions, I still need to say so much and-”

“And I’m sorry, Oliver.. You and I both know how much you deserve answers to those questions, but now isn’t the time. It was worth staying here so long so I could hold my grandson, probably the only time I’ll ever get to hold any of your children.. And it was worth it so I could hold my own child again.. But, it’s safest for me to travel at night and I’ve been here for too long already..” He tried to persuade, but I hated his words.

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“We’re out in the middle of nowhere! You can’t stay for just a few more days? Please, just stay.. My little boy is going to be here for a couple of days with Aunt Nina and Uncle Gareth, you can spend even more time with him.. I could come back with Isaiah, too, so you two can formally meet, and I know that he’ll want to thank you for what you did for him, as well.. Just stay,” I tried to convince him, trying to think of every excuse I could to get him to remain here a little bit longer, but I could tell by his expression that I wasn’t being very persuasive. 

“As much as I would love that, as much as I would love to spend more time with you and the family you’re making, I just can’t.. Me being here isn’t safe for anyone. If the cops ever knew I was here, any one of you could be charged with Harboring a Fugitive. I don’t give a shit about your uncle, but I can’t risk letting that happen to you or your aunt, even Isaiah, if you were to bring him here. I can’t let that happen to anyone.. I’ve done enough to this family already,” he replied and I hung my head, “You understand, don’t you?” He questioned and I nodded as I looked down at the grass. 

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“Good.. You take care of yourself, Oliver, and you take good care of the family your making. Never let anything happen to them and never abandon then, you got it?” He asked next and I nodded, watching then as his hand came to my chin and he lifted it so I would look at him, “You got it?” He repeated.

“Yes, sir..” I replied, seeing him smile and he then pulled me into his arms, wrapping my arms around him, as well.

“I love you, Oliver. Always remember that, okay?” He said softly as he held me and I shut my eyes tightly, remembering him saying those exact words to me before he had left fifteen years ago and now he was doing it again..

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“Am I going to have to wait another fifteen years before I see you again?” I asked, feeling my dad pull away from me and he looked at me with the same smile he had before he hugged me.

“I doubt it, but it won’t be anytime soon,” he answered and I nodded in understanding. 

“Call me from now on..”

“What do you mean?”

“You always call Uncle Gareth to check up on how I’m doing.. But.. Just call me directly from now on,” I requested and I watched him nod.

“I will.. I’ll call your uncle to see how everything’s doing in a few days, and I’ll get your number from him then,” he agreed and I smiled softly.

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“Take care of yourself, son,” he bid me farewell, grabbing the back of my head and pulling my temple to his lips, kissing me softly before he stepped around me and began walking away.

“Yeah.. You, too, Dad,” I answered, looking over my shoulder and I watched him walk passed the house towards the front, keeping my eyes on him until I couldn’t see him anymore through the dark of the evening that crept over us as we were reunited, and now, separated once again.

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I looked back towards the fire, taking a seat within the grass and I watched the flames that warmed my skin dance, calming me in an odd way and I started thinking about how I could ever have thought before that I had no one, that I was alone in the world, but I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I finally saw that now. My uncle, my aunt, Ezra, a guy that I barely knew, and my father.. They had all been here for me when I thought I had no one.. I really wasn’t alone. My aunt, whom I haven’t seen in so long, came without question to help me and my son.. The man named Ezra, who had known my family for years, probably even before I was born, came along to help, though I mostly believed he was just doing my uncle a favor and my uncle was cashing in.. My father, who had been watching over me ever since he left.. That meant more to me than anything, however, I felt like my uncle was the real hero in all of this. He’s been looking out for me ever since my father had left.. He’s done so, so much for me in the last few months, as well, I really owed him. Without him and his support, without his strength and his ability to keep me on track and focused, I’d have no idea where I’d be without him. Everything had been taken care of, everything had all worked out in the end, and I owed it all to him. 

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I heard the back door of the house open, looking back over my shoulder and I saw my uncle coming back outside, standing to my feet as he approached, “You staying or leaving?” He asked, choosing not to even ask about where my dad was, but I assumed he knew he’d leave after speaking with me.

“Leaving.. I need to get home..”

“All right. What are you going to tell him about the little one?” He asked next, talking about Isaiah and I sighed softly.

“I don’t know yet..” I answered and I watched as my uncle thought for a moment.

“Well, I’ll figure something out as far as the documents you need to make sure he’s a citizen and all that, birth certificate and whatnot.. I think Ezra might know someone that can slip it into the database without being noticed.. In the mean time, while I’m getting that together, you should think of something to tell your partner.. Shouldn’t take me more than a couple days to get it all worked out,” he answered and I nodded.

“Well, what about the certificate? Wouldn’t my name on it as the father and Jody as the mother be suspicious?”

“I was thinking we’d put the baby in Nina’s name and then me as the father. After a little while, maybe a few years, we can have you sign some adoption papers, adopting the baby from us so then he officially becomes yours and you won’t have to worry about that anymore.”

“Wait, he’s going to be living here?”

“No, he’s going to be living with you and your partner. You’re his dad, dumbass, I’m not taking care of him for you. He’s just going to be listed as Nina and I’s son so it doesn’t arouse any suspicion towards your part, it’d be stupid to name you his father when Jody is now missing, it’s all a little too convenient, don’t you think?” He asked rhetorically and I nodded in understanding. 

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“Hey, how about in a few days, you tell your partner that Jody went into labor and you want to be there when the baby is born. Make sure he doesn’t come with you. Then, just come here, stay the night, then take your son and bring him home the next day. We’ll say he died while giving birth, leaving you to be his guardian,” he suggested and that didn’t sound like a bad idea.

“Okay.. But, what about a birth certificate?”

“I’ll have a fake one drawn up for you to show him, but I’ll have the real one with mine and Nina’s name here. A few years from now, we’ll do the adoption paper process under the table so then he officially becomes yours without anyone asking any questions. That’ll be the last thing you lie to him about, I suppose. Just make sure you keep up with this secret and don’t ever let yourself slip up. I can help you with things like this, but I can’t help you with your relationship.. You need to make sure, on your own, that you don’t screw that one up,” he advised and I nodded.

“I understand..”

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“Good. Well, Ezra is going to stay here, watch the fire and all and make sure everything is taken care of. Nina’s staying here, too, to look after your son, but I’m borrowing Ezra’s truck and going to get a new bed and stuff.. You leaving now?

“Yeah, I should..”

“Are you doing okay?” He asked, knowing now he was asking about how it went with my dad and I smiled softly.

“Yeah.. I’m good, actually,” I replied and he nodded.

“Good, good.. Congrats, by the way, if I didn’t say it already..” He continued and I nodded back in thank, “All right, well, see you in a few days, huh, kid?” He questioned with a smirk and I nodded again, keeping my soft smile and for the first time in my life, I actually felt like hugging my uncle, so I did.

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“Thank you so much, for everything. I couldn’t have done any of this without you,” I replied and I felt him patting my back, knowing he was a little uncomfortable with me hugging him, seeing as we never have before, but I was glad that he let it happen.

“Not a problem, just don’t fuck it up, got it?” He asked and I nodded, pulling away from him and watching as he walked away and around the house towards the front like my father had done. 

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After hearing Ezra’s truck start and seeing it pull down the road, my uncle leaving, I decided to go back inside and say goodbye to Nina and my son, walking back towards the house and going inside. I noticed Ezra standing in the kitchen, watching me come inside and I stepped up to him, “I know we never formally met, but, I’m Oliver,” I said, sticking out my hand for him to shake and he shook it happily.

“Nice meeting you, Oliver, and I’m sure you know by now that I’m Ezra,” he replied, removing our hands from one another’s and I nodded.

“Yeah. You’ve known my uncle and my dad for a long time, huh?”

“Yup, too long,” he joked and I chuckled.

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“Well, thank you for everything. I just wanted to say that before I left.”

“You’re welcome, don’t worry about it.. I owed your uncle a few favors, anyways,” he replied and I nodded in understanding, “Well, I’m going to go watch the fire. Nice meeting you, Ollie.”

“Yeah, likewise,” I replied, watching as he left and I then looked over towards Nina still holding my son.

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“Leaving already?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, I need to get home to Isaiah before he starts to worry. Thank you again for watching him for a few days, I know it must be hard being around my uncle again, but thank you for putting up with him for me,” I replied and she smiled warmly.

“Well, it’s not all that bad,” she answered and I smirked, knowing she still loved my uncle and I was glad that they could be civil around one another when taking care of my son. 

I leaned down, kissing my son on his forehead for a long moment before pulling away, “I’ll see you in a few days, buddy,” I spoke softly, then looked up to my aunt and I kissed her cheek,” Thanks again, I’ll see you soon.”

“Sounds good. Drive safe, sweetheart,” she replied and I smiled, looking at my son one last time for a long moment before leaving the house and making my way back home to Isaiah.

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When I got home, I was still exhausted.. It was nearly eleven at night when I had finally gotten here and I stood alone in the quiet hallway for a minute when I knew Isaiah wasn’t on the first floor of our place, taking that time to gather myself as best as I could now that I had a moment to think without being in the car. I leaned my back against the door, resting, taking a moment.. I was dwelling on what I had done, how much blood had cursed my hands, but I tried my best to not think about it.. I didn’t want to get dizzy and faint at the front door, forcing Isaiah to find me like that.. There was so much more better things to think about than what I had to do to get to where I am now.. Isaiah was alive and well, my baby boy was finally part of this world and under great care until I could bring him home, I had finally reunited with my father, even though it was brief, and Jody was no longer an issue in my life.. I’d say that I felt pretty damn good in the end.. I felt amazing, actually.. Why did I even bother dwelling on what I had done? It was all for the greater good, it was all for Isaiah and I knew he was waiting for me upstairs in our bedroom.. I felt like there was nothing standing in our way now, we could do whatever we wanted and be happy.. I then though I might as well go greet the one person in my life that has given it any meaning, maybe even celebrate a little if he was still awake..

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I eventually hoisted myself up and off the door, walking upstairs and I opened the door to our bedroom, seeing Isaiah sleeping in our bed, dressed in comfortable sweatpants and I had believed him, I knew he had been in bed all day resting like he had said he was and I wished that I had been here to cater to his every need.. But, now that I was finally home and finally at a great high in my life, I knew I’d actually be able to be here for him completely instead of needing to run off to deal with other things behind his back.. I was here for him, and he had been here the whole time, waiting for me.. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to come into my life.

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I made my way towards the dresser, removing my pants and my uncle’s shirt he had lent me, changing into sweatpants like Isaiah was wearing before I arrived to the bed and I crawled cautiously and slowly onto it, lying down and looking at Isaiah as he slept.. I brought my hand forward, touching the side of his face gently and I let my thumb caress his soft cheek, finally feeling at ease for the first time in my life as I looked at him. It felt.. Weird.. It felt so weird to not have to worry about anything anymore.. I was finally free.. We were finally free..

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As I looked at him, feeling his delicate breath on my wrist and glancing down briefly at his bare chest to watch him breathe, I couldn’t help myself, bringing my lips to his skin and kissing him sensually over and over. His body began to squirm as he slept, knowing I was waking him up and by the time my lips reached up to his clavicle, he took a large breath through his nose and woke up.

“Damn.. What an amazing thing to wake up to,” he spoke softly with a groggy, sleepy tone and I smiled as I continued to kiss down his chest.

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“I promised I’d be home tonight,” I said between long, passionate kisses on his skin.

“Yeah, you promised a lot of other things, too,” he implied and I chuckled softly. I removed my lips from his chest, climbing over him, making sure to keep myself from touching his injured ribs and his eyes seemed to grow wider, waking up instantly from me sitting on his lap and he looked at me with a raised brow, “Frisky?” He asked with a hopeful grin and I smirked.

“In love,” I corrected him and his expression went softer, able to see the adoration he had for me in his eyes.

“Get over here and kiss me already,” he instructed and I leaned forward, meeting his lips with my own and I kissed him for a long moment before pulling away.

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As I looked down at him, I let my expression fall to a slight melancholy as I sat up again and Isaiah seemed to take immediate notice, “Hey.. What’s wrong?” He wondered with worry, reaching up to brush my hair away from my eyes to get a better look at me.

“Why didn’t you tell me my dad was the one that saved you? Why did you keep that from me?” I asked and he took his hand away from my face, averting his eyes from mine.

“I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know for sure.. You never talk about him, the only time you did was at the hospital. I’ve never even seen a picture of him, I just.. Wasn’t positive,” he replied, looking back up to me, “I didn’t want to tell you and give you any false hope just in case it wasn’t him.. I’m sorry, Oliver..” He expressed in remorse, but I understood his logic.

“It’s okay, I’m not mad..” I answered and he seemed relieved.

“Good.. How did you find out it was?” He asked and I smirked as I looked down at him.

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“He showed up at my uncle’s place when I was there,” I replied and his eyes widened, “After I got off the phone with you, my uncle wanted me to come outside because he had a bonfire going and when I went outside, my dad was just.. Standing there..” I continued and Isaiah seemed speechless.

“Oliver, that’s.. That’s crazy!” He replied excitedly and I chuckled, but I then noticed his expression go concerned, “Are you okay?” He asked and I nodded slowly.

“Yeah, I’m great, actually.. I, uh..” I laughed softly, “I hit him,” I added and I saw him smile, then laugh as well.

“Oh, shit. How’d he take it? How’s your hand?” He asked, taking hold of my hand and looking at it before he kissed my knuckles.

“It’s fine, just a little sore.. And he took it better than I thought.. He just stood there.. He saw it coming the whole time and could’ve moved, but he just took it..”

“Damn.. I bet he thought he deserved it,” he replied and I nodded.

“Yeah, he did, he said he knew it was coming, too,” I said with a soft chuckle.

“Oliver, this is crazy.. Help me sit up and tell me more.. Stay on my lap, though, I like you there,” he replied and I smiled, sitting up for a moment and I helped him sit up like he wanted.

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Isaiah then continued with the questions, “What did you two talk about? How long was he there?”

“I only talked to him for about fifteen minutes.. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I must’ve spent at least seven of those fifteen minutes crying like a baby while hugging him after I hit him,” I admitted, letting my gaze drop to his chest. 

“Oh, Oliver.. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You told me the last time you saw him was, what..? Now fifteen years ago? You had every right to hit him and then cry from happiness when you saw him again.”

“Yeah, you’re right.. He even apologized to me for leaving, something I’ve been waiting to hear ever since he left..” I replied, watching as Isaiah reached up and caressed my cheek lovingly.

“I’m really happy for you, Oliver. Do you think you got all the closure you need?” He asked and I thought for a moment.

“Well, there’s still a million questions I wanted to ask him and I wanted him to stay at my uncle’s, I wanted him to stay for at least a few more days, just so I could bring you up there and you two could formally meet and so that I could have that time to talk to him about everything.. I got some closure, but not completely.. He’s been calling my uncle every few years or so to see how I was doing, but I convinced him to just call me from now on. I don’t really ever know exactly when he’ll call, but I feel better knowing he can ask how I’m doing himself when he calls me instead,” I replied and he smiled.

“That’s really great, Oliver. I’m really am happy for you,” he answered and I smirked, “Do you mind me asking why he left? You never really talked about that, either..” He asked cautiously and I contemplated on whether or not now was the time to talk about something like that. 

“Maybe another time.. It’ll only make the mood bad and I don’t want to ruin it,” I said with a apologetic expression, but he kept his smile and nodded.

“I understand, take as much time as you need. I’ll always be here for whenever you want to talk about it,” he answered and I smiled.

“Thank you for always understanding,” I replied, leaning in towards him and I kissed his lips for a long, long moment.

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After I had pulled away, I looked at him in a rather bashful manner and he grew curious with a smile on his lips, “What’s on your mind now?

“Do you still want to marry me?” I asked and I watched his eyes grew excited..

“Of course, Oliver. Nothing would make me happier,” he replied and I smirked.

“Then ask me again,” I encouraged and Isaiah’s smile left his lips, his expression turning serious.

“Really?” He asked and I nodded, “O-Okay, uhm.. Should I, uh.. Get up and get on one knee, or..?”

“You don’t have to..”

“I don’t have a ring or anything, though..”

“And you didn’t at the hospital.. Either time,” I pointed out and he removed his hands from touching my thighs, shaking them lightly.

“Well, this is, uh.. Kind of throwing me off a little, I’m all nervous now. My palms are getting sweaty,” he answered and I laughed softly.

“Would you just ask already before I change my mind?” I threatened a little and he nodded quickly, taking a deep breath before he spoke and he let it out slowly.

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“Oliver, will you do me the honor in becoming my husband and remaining by my side for the rest of our lives?” He asked, and although I was sure he knew what my answer would be, I could tell he was nervous all the same which only made me want to agree to it more.

“Yes.. I’ll marry you,” I answered and his face lit up with a sense a joy that I had never seen before.

“Well, you’ve officially made me the happiest man alive,” he replied and I smiled, feeling his hands grasp my hips a little tighter, “Come here,” he implied, knowing he wanted to kiss me and I leaned in towards him, letting our lips meet passionately. I thought I was at the happiest point in my life when my son was born, but now, being engaged to Isaiah, my happiness was inexplicable.

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I pulled away for a moment from Isaiah, looking to his eyes and without a single word, our lips crashed back into one another’s and the situation grew more passionate than it was before. I could feel myself getting more and more excited as I kissed him harder and I quivered to the feel of his hands running over my skin near my hips. Finally, we were alone together after being apart for longer than expected and I’ve been so anxious to get back in our own bed and spend as much time with him as I could, knowing that we wouldn’t get any interruptions, but I still didn’t waste any time when it came to being with him now. Even if my phone were to go off right this second, I’d ignore it completely.. I wasn’t about to ruin another chance at getting closer to him, especially now knowing we were engaged.

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As I straddled him, I felt his hands trying to pull down my sweatpants as we kissed and I knelt before him, picking myself up from his lap and his hands pulled them down my hips. Knowing full well what he wanted, I assisted him as quickly as I could and I took off my own bottoms as we continued to kiss passionately, tossing them aside quickly and before I came back onto his lap, I broke the kiss to get rid of his pajama pants, too, tossing those aside, as well. After we had removed everything, I felt his hands quickly clench my bottom and be gripped it tightly, forcing me to sit up again and his fingers then found their way to my sweet spot and within a second of being naked, he was already getting me ready for him.. I didn’t oppose what-so-ever, I was just as excited for us to make love as he was and as he touched me, I hummed moans as I felt his lips kissing my chest over and over with a subtle roughness behind each one.

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After he teased me for a while, he finally guided himself into me and I couldn’t help but go a little rough, something that I wasn’t used to, something that I didn’t often do, but on this occasion of celebration, if only to myself on the inside, I wanted to explore so much more than I ever had.. I wanted to be exciting for him, I wanted to be irresistible and I wanted him to get as high as I was, but, I kept myself from doing so.. I couldn’t let myself loose because I knew he was in pain, so I tried to go softer than I wanted to..

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When I looked down at him, his face read that he needed more, so much more, and he eventually told me so, Don’t worry about me, do whatever the hell you want,” Isaiah demanded, causing me to go completely flush red in the face and waste no more time at all, putting my hands to the backboard of the bed and gripping tightly as I rode him as hard as I wanted, as hard as he wanted.. I ignored his injury like he had told me so and I was convinced he was impervious to discomfort and pain as long as pleasure was involved.. I had never had sex with him like this before, it was so much more intimate, so much more rough and exciting.. I don’t know what came over us. 

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I still tried my hardest to keep my anxious hand from gripping his left ribs, but it was so hard when all I wanted to do was touch every inch of him.. I kept my hands on the backboard, gripping it as hard as I could. 

“Fuck yes, Oliver.. K-keep going,” he let out in pleasure and it only made me want more, continuing to do what he loved, and what I loved, for as long as I could, hoping to God that my legs had a stamina for this. He said my name so many times that it made me feel as if I couldn’t hold back anymore, I thought I was going to explode and I could barely contain myself, but we managed to keep going at it for the longest time that we ever had before.. Eventually, after a long, long while, the moment he put his hands on my hips and pushed me down on him as hard as he could, I reached my max in that split second and I felt an immense warmth ignite inside of me as he reached his max, too, and from that moment, I was in complete ecstasy.

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“Jesus Christ..” Isaiah eventually let out through heavy pants and I was just as winded as he was, trying hard to catch my breath as I lazily fell off of him and lie in the bed, “That was.. I-I don’t even know,” he continued and I chuckled softly.

“Amazing?” I asked, looking over towards him and I watched him shut his eyes and nod indefinitely, agreeing with me wholeheartedly and I smiled and laughed softly again. 

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I eventually propped myself up, leaning over and looking down at him with nothing but adoration in my eyes and he looked up at me with the same expression, “Well, we’re engaged.. You sure you’re not sick of me yet? There’s still time to back out,” he joked and I smiled.

“Jerk.. Sorry, but you’re stuck with me,” I replied back humorously, watching him smile back and I leaned down, putting my lips to his own. I think it’s safe to say that it’s official now.. I’m a father, a soon-to-be husband, and the happiest I had ever been in all of my life. I had finally found my muse, feeling for the first time like this was the correct path that I was meant to go down and I couldn’t be more excited to see where this road would take me. I had finally found someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, someone that wanted to take this journey with me just as much as I did and I was the luckiest person in the world at this very moment. This was the beginning to my new life.. A life without torment and bad luck, a life without doubt and fear, and most importantly, a life without wondering if I’d ever be happy again..

It’s official.. I’m happy.

Next Chapter |

Generation 4, Chapter 13

Attention: NSFW. Violence and blood and stuff.

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     Isaiah’s POV     

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It’s been about a month since Oliver went to temporarily live with his Uncle and he’s come back home to see me only twice. I knew he had promised to visit me a lot more than he has been, but I eventually taught myself to not let it bother me too much and I tried not to hound him about it or be greedy and jealous of his Uncle. With only seeing him twice in the last month, this separation reminded me of when he was swamped with school and I never had a lot of time with him, so I guess you could say that being without him like this, only getting to see him ever now and then, wasn’t really a foreign feeling to me.. That’s not to say I enjoyed it or was okay with tolerating it, because it was different now that we lived together, but it made being lonely easier to deal with since I had been through it before.

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My excitement for waking up and looking at my phone was no different this morning, checking my phone for any sign of him and I had a text waiting to be read that he had sent about an hour ago. It took me a moment to open it and read it, wanting it to be him telling me that he was coming to see me, but then again, he texted me a lot in the mornings just to say ‘hi’ and I hoped that this message was one telling me he was on his way here.

‘Hey, good morning.’ It read and I smirked.

‘Hey. Good morning to yourself.’ I sent back, waiting a moment and hearing my phone chime again within a few minutes.

‘I miss you.’ It simply read and my smirk only grew into a wider smile.

‘I miss you more. Are you coming home today?’ I asked, sitting on the edge of my seat as I waited for a response.

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‘No.. Sorry.. Maybe tomorrow?’ He replied and my smile was wiped from my lips.

‘Oh, okay.. Anything special happening today?’

‘My Uncle wants to try fishing, but we’ll see if that goes terribly or not. Maybe he’ll fall in if he catches something big. I’ll get a picture for you.’ He replied and I chuckled softly, the smirk briefly returning to my lips, but it was gone again as I replied to him.

‘Well, good luck with that.. I look forward to tomorrow. I love you, have a good day today.’ I sent back.

‘You do the same. I love you, too.’ He replied and I set down my phone on the nightstand.

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I got up and got ready for the day, taking a shower and getting dressed for work, thinking about Oliver every second I could. I tried to focus again on how we used to date and how I used to go about my day easily without him, thinking about him sufficing my need for him until the next time we saw one another and it worked most days, but today was especially harder when all I could think of was the possibility of seeing him tomorrow. Each time he had come to visit, we only spent roughly an hour together, but we took full advantage of what little time we had and exploring one another’s body was no exception, sometimes even cutting the time in half by showering with him instead of him taking one by himself after making love, but.. Dammit. I needed to stop thinking about it, it only made me miss him more and I couldn’t wait for the day to end.

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I left a little before three and arrived at work on time, getting the bar ready for customers and wiping down the counter as well as all of the tables even though they were cleaned to perfection the night prior.. It really only helped me keep my mind off of Oliver and how anxious I was to see him, though even still, he followed me everywhere I went and I couldn’t even look at the stool he always liked to sit in without smiling, nor could I forget that my bar was where we first met, where I had first kissed him.. I sighed heavily, realizing that being here could even be worse than being at the condo.

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My bar manager, Gavin, came in a quarter after three and I was cleaning glasses when I noticed him come in, “Hey, sorry I’m late. Traffic was shitty,” he told me as he walked in.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s a weekday, people don’t usually show up until about four, anyhow,” I brushed off, seeing him smile and I continued to clean glasses.

“How are you today?” He wondered and I shrugged.

“Good, I suppose. And yourself?”

“Pretty good. Your boyfriend still out of town?” He asked next, adjusting his attire as he made small talk.

“Yeah, he should be visiting tomorrow, though.”

“I bet you can’t wait to see him, huh?” He continued with a smile and I couldn’t help but smirk.

“Of course. Seeing him is the highlight of everything,” I replied, “Hey, would you mind going to the VIP room and making sure all of the ashtrays are emptied and clean, as well as make sure the tables are wiped down and there’s no ash anywhere?” I asked and he nodded.

“Sure thing,” he confirmed, watching as he made his way upstairs and I continued washing glasses.

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People eventually started coming into the bar around four, like I had predicted, fresh faces as well as the usual customers and I enjoyed my job wholeheartedly. I was always surrounded by decent people and I’ve grown to have friendships with some of them, making it a lot easier to take my mind off of missing Oliver and it made working a lot easier, too, even when knowing I’d come back to an empty home at the end of the night.

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At times when more waitresses would show up and I was able to leave the bar downstairs for a while, I’d go upstairs to the VIP room and greet everyone there personally, making sure my guests that had special privileges felt comfortable and cared for. Some of them would request me to make their drinks personally and I’d recommend to them great cigars to taste and buy, I was quite the salesman and I loved wooing my customers to the point where it would result in more income for Oliver and I, especially when they were swayed to buy the most expensive cigars that could possibly end up paying for a mortgage payment when I counted the registers at the end of the night. Life was easy lately, at least my job was. Being a bartender always came easy for me, but missing Oliver was still something I couldn’t, and didn’t, want to get used to.

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Later in the evening, I eventually came back downstairs to manage the bar and time flew by quicker than I could’ve prayed for it to. Around eight at night, a half hour before last call and an hour before closing, my attention was caught by a group of three young men coming in and I watched them as they were greeted at the door. Already, I knew they were going to be trouble and they had no idea what kind of higher establishment this was, the three of them wearing less than appropriate attire for my bar and just by how they held themselves, I knew they had been bar hopping before they had come here, almost drunk already, no doubt. 

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I watched as my coat check tried to tell them to leave, but it was obvious that she was struggling with this group of booze-filled college frat boys, so I took it upon myself to help her, stepping out from behind the bar and walking over to them.

“Gentleman, you need a jacket or tie in order to be here and denim jeans doesn’t cut it. I apologize, but I’ll have to ask you to leave until you fit the requirements,” I began politely, keeping them from coming into the bar any more and I seemed to have hit a nerve with the main young man of the group. A tall, platinum blonde haired youth with deep blue eyes and a clean cut chin, clearly artificially tanned and the scowl he held when he looked at me told me he didn’t like me from the moment he set his eyes on me. 

“What, ‘no shirt, no shoes’ type of bullshit, but taken up a notch by yuppies in suits and ties? We just came here to have a few drinks, that’s all. No harm done, eh?” He contested.

“Please, I ask that you leave and come back with the proper attire, then I would be happy to serve you gentleman. But, until then..” I implied, making it clear that I wanted them to leave.

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“So, you’re the owner, huh?” The platinum blonde asked and I furrowed my brow towards him.

“Yeah, that’s me. Again, gentleman.. Please, leave and come back with the proper attire,” I warned for the last time.

“Or what, grandpa? You gunna kick us all out by yourself?” He insulted, sizing me up as his eyes looked me up and down and I was bored of his insults.

“If it comes to that, then yes,” I confirmed confidently, watching as the young man held his grimace towards me for a long moment and I held mine, as well. 

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“All right, have it your way, old man. We’ll leave,” he replied, eventually giving up and stepping backwards towards the front door, “We’ll be back though, don’t you worry,” he pathetically threatened.

“And hopefully wearing the correct attire,” I spat back, hoping that they wouldn’t come back to this place out of spite, nor were they welcome to. They were bad seeds, I could tell just by looking at them, and although I hated judging people so easily, I knew that if they even did come back, it would still be to cause trouble and I wouldn’t allow it.

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After they left, my coat check seemed anxious, but happy that I had gotten rid of them.

Thanks for coming out from the bar.. I got nervous, I didn’t know what to do..”

“No worries, I noticed right away they were giving you trouble. It’s why I stay at the downstairs bar, for my employee’s safety,” I reassured her, seeing her smile and I touched her back comfortingly, letting her know that I didn’t take nonsense lightly and none of my employees were going to be heckled without me stepping in to stop it.

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I continued to try and end the night on a high note, serving the rest of my remaining customers and when it was ten minutes to nine, the place was cleared out and everyone was gone with the exception of a couple remaining waitresses that were cleaning the tables and vacuuming the carpet. I cleaned all of the dirty glasses collected by my girls and dried them as well, the girls finishing their work like they usually did before me and they bid me farewell when they were all done.

“Have a good night, Mr. Yamato,” the girls said before leaving and I smiled.

“Goodnight, ladies. Be careful going home,” I replied, finally alone as I watched them leave and I continued cleaning glasses in silence.

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I loved running my bar. The ambiance, the live music, the soft roar of multiple conversations hanging in the air throughout the night.. I lived for it. Opening my own bar had become my dream, especially in the town that I had always wanted to come back to, and I never even expected to be doing this well. Of course, I knew I could and that I eventually would, but I hadn’t imagined that my establishment would be going this well after only eight months, expecting the place to pick up after probably two years instead, but I was happy that I had picked such a great location and that things were going better than I had ever thought they could in this town.. Not to mention how lucky I was to meet the love of my life in the same town, too, which ended up only enhancing the feel of success.

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I haven’t been thinking about Oliver’s story and dissecting it as I once did when he first told me, I had gotten used to him texting me and telling me what he and his Uncle had planned for the day and I grew to not question it as much anymore. I wanted to believe him, so I did. Every time he visited, we didn’t talk much about his Uncle since we did enough of that during the days we wouldn’t see one another, but we more so just kept the time we spent together only about us and we didn’t spend our time together talking all that much, either. We didn’t need to, really. I came to the conclusion that we’d spend as much time together intimately as we could and whenever he came home for good, we’d talk our hearts out and I was excited for the day when we could actually spend the entire day together so we could do exactly that.

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I had thought I was alone, but Gavin came down from the VIP room, the one I put in charge of the bar upstairs as well as the rest of the place when I wasn’t around and I hadn’t noticed that he hadn’t gone home yet. 

“Oh, I didn’t know you were still here. Is everything in order up there?” I asked, watching him descend down the stairs and he stepped up to the bar as I cleaned.

“Yeah, it looks nice. I already cleaned the ashtrays and vacuumed all the ash, wiped down the coffee tables, polished the furniture.. Everything looks great,” he replied and I nodded in approval.

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“Good, thanks for doing all of that.”

“Not a problem,” he answered, expecting him to leave, yet he still stood in front of me and I looked to him with a curiously raised brow.

“..Something you need?” I asked and he gave a nervous smile.

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“Uh.. Listen, if you ever want to do anything after work, I’d be happy to chill with you. My girlfriend is an excellent cook and I know with your boyfriend gone, it must be pretty lonely at home, right? Why don’t you come over for dinner soon, maybe sometime after work? We could even have lunch or something on a Sunday, too,” he suggested and I knew what this was, my view going down to the counter top momentarily before looking back up to him.

“I appreciate the offer, but just because I’m alone at home doesn’t mean I’m lonely,” I lied, even though I wanted my own words to be true.

“I know, I just figured since you hardly ever go out, you’re home alone a lot lately and maybe getting out a night or two a week will do some good, make you miss him less.. Just a suggestion,” he continued and I nodded.

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“Thanks for your concern, but I’ll be fine. If he doesn’t come over tomorrow, then it’ll probably be the day after that. I can last a couple weeks by myself after whenever I see him, so there’s no need to worry about me. When we were dating, we barely saw one another, anyhow, so it’s nothing new, really..”

“All right.. Well, offer always stands,” he replied.

“Thanks. Have a good night, Gavin.”

“You, too, sir,” he answered and I watched as he left out the front door, following him out from behind the bar and I locked the door after he had gone.

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After Gavin left, the bar was silent as I went around the first floor, pushing in all the chairs how I liked them and giving the chairs and tables one more wipe down despite my waitresses doing a good job. I didn’t think I had OCD, but I took pride in my bar every night and I wanted it how I saw fit, so I always took another fifteen or so minutes to go throughout the entire place, making sure it was how I liked it before closing for the night. But, when everyone was gone and I was alone again, my mind eventually went back to Oliver and I was actually calm now, surprisingly, instead of eagerly awaiting his potential arrival tomorrow.. Maybe it was because the night was nearly over and when I went home to go to bed, he’d be home in no time. I loved thinking about him, I especially loved thinking about us together, but I tried not to excite myself as I tried to close for the night, not wanting to leave any table unchecked and trying not to distract myself from leaving my bar anything less than pristine. 

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The last thing to do was take out all of the trash before I closed, holding five or so garbage bags and tossing them into the dumpster out back by the loading docks where I received my weekly shipment of cigars, alcohol and produce, closing the lid and it sent an echoing clap throughout the empty parking lot after I had thrown everything out.

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Before going back inside, I stood out in the parking lot alone, taking in the fresh summer night air and I looked up at the stars as the sky grew darker. It was so beautiful, so serene and I hoped that Oliver was looking at the same sky I was, hoping he was wishing he was with me as much as I wished I was with him and now all I wanted to do was hold him in my arms as we looked to the clear, glimmering sky together, but I knew I’d have to wait to have such a romantic experience and I hoped his Uncle was a strong man that could get through a broken knee faster than anyone else just so I could have Oliver back.

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I then froze and my mind went blank, hearing rustling in the bushes on the edge of the parking lot and I looked towards the brush, but it was still too hard to see anything through the dark. 

“Anyone there?” I called out, listening for a moment, but no one replied and I assumed it was just some wild animal, possibly a raccoon waiting to look through the garbage and I continued to make my way towards the stairs to walk up the loading dock and back inside, but before I could, I heard footsteps in the opposite direction of the rustled bushes and I saw three black figures coming out from the shadows through the parking lot from the road and I assumed it was just some kids out late at night cutting through my parking lot.

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“Who’s there?” I asked sternly, standing my ground as I waited for the figures to come into the light of the loading dock and once they came into view, it was the three troublesome young men from earlier, all dressed in black.. This didn’t look good.

“Is this the proper attire now, old man?” The main blonde taunted and I was irritated about them showing up again and with no one to assist me, yet I still held my ground.

“Bar’s closed, gentleman. And still, not the right attire,” I replied confidently. 

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“You’re Isaiah, right?” The blonde questioned, wondering how he knew my name, yet I still didn’t waver my stance.

“Who’s asking?”

“Thomas Zepeda,” he replied and I thought for a moment, knowing that last name from somewhere and it suddenly dawned on me, “Seems like you know who I am now, huh?” He questioned and I realized that this wasn’t just for kicking them out of the bar anymore.. This was personal.

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“So,” I began, “I haven’t even met the girl yet and this is how Jody thinks she can get rid of me? Why doesn’t she just give up already? Oliver hasn’t seen her in months, and now, out of nowhere, she sends her pathetic, drunk brother and his equally pathetic drunk friends to.. Do what, exactly?” I questioned and I heard him chuckle.

“Is that what Fish told you? That they haven’t seen one another in months? Funny, because I’m pretty sure they’re together right now,” he replied and I squinted my eyes towards him with doubt in my mind.

“Why would I ever believe that?” I asked and I watched him shrug.

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“Maybe because it’s the truth? You know, speaking in generalities, when a person wants to hide something from someone they care about, in fear that the information might hurt them, they tend to lie, do they not? You see it in movies all the time.. The ones closest to you lie and the ones that aren’t are usually the ones telling the truth, using the truth to make them hurt, because either way, no matter who it comes from, the truth is gunna hurt, am I right? Why would I be lying?”

“I have no clue. It could very well happen the other way around, as well.. The one wanting to cause the pain is in fact the one lying, so again, why the hell would I ever believe a word you say?” I asked.

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“Do I really have to prove it to you? I’d be more than happy to, whad’ya say?” He wondered and my heart began to beat a little quicker as I watched him pull out his phone from his pocket. The three of them didn’t make me nervous, but rather the possibility of Thomas telling the truth is what did. 

“Please, leave, gentleman. The last thing I want is trouble and that’s clearly the only reason why you’re here,” I warned them.

“So, you don’t want me to call my sister..? And you aren’t even curious to see if he’s been telling you the truth?” He continued to pry, but I continued to act uninterested.

“I won’t tell you again.. Leave.. Now,” I replied and I watched as Thomas put his phone back into his pocket.

“Fine, we’ll leave.. After you say you’ll dump Fish,” he replied and I chuckled, growing tired of his nickname for Oliver as well as his pointless threats.

“No chance,” I answered sternly and Thomas didn’t seem to like my response. 

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Thomas stepped forward more, his friends staying where they were, “Don’t you get it? They’re having a kid together. Do you really believe that not letting him go to be with the mother of his kid is the best choice?”

“It’s not my choice to make, it’s Oliver’s. If he wants to be with her, which I highly doubt, then he can be, all he has to do is tell me. And, seeing as he hasn’t done that yet, I can say again, it’s not going to happen,” I replied without a single shred of doubt.

“Well, don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Looks like we’ll just have to take you out of the picture, then,” he threatened and although I knew from the get-go that they were here to do something to this effect, I didn’t think they’d actually go through with it.

“Can’t we grow up, children? This is ridiculous.”

“You brought this on yourself, man. I need to make my sister happy and if this is what she wants, then it’s what she wants,” Thomas said with a grin and there wasn’t any point in saying anything else. This was happening, I was about to be jumped.. I just hoped that I favored well enough in the end to walk away from it. 

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There was a moment where all of us were at a standstill, silence falling around us and all I did was watch and wait. Thomas and his friends all held stupid smirks on their faces, Thomas standing in place in front of me as both of his friends began to circle around me on either side. I wasn’t much of a fighter, and that’s not to say that I didn’t know how to defend myself, though I’ve never taken on three people at once and the moment they began to come at me from three different angles, I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. 

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There wasn’t ever a moment of knowing exactly when they would come at me or if they’d come at me one at a time or all at once, my only upper hand in this was that they were drunk and I hoped it would work to my advantage.

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Suddenly, the boy to my left came at my first, winding back his fist and ready to hit me, but I stepped back quickly and he missed me by a hair and I applied force to his back, causing him to lose his balance and he fell to his hands and knees roughly.

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I barely had time to recover myself before the boy originally on my right passed his falling friend with his fist hurdling at my face, but I grabbed his wrist in time and quickly twisted my arm around, twisting it as hard as I could and he cried out softly from his arm being hyper extended.

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But, while I was distracted by the two that I didn’t know the names of, after I had showed the second boy a new meaning of pain, I made the mistake of taking my eyes off of Thomas and by the time I had realized it, I felt a fist hitting my face hard and I felt my glasses crack against my temple and fly off towards the ground. I joined my glasses, falling back onto the blacktop and I hadn’t imagined that Thomas had the amount of strength that he did, but I was surprisingly dazed after that one hit. 

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The first boy that had come at me was back on his feet now and before I could try and stand completely to my feet, he had made his way behind me and he grabbed hold of my arms, pinning them back and I could feel the drunk strength he had when I found it difficult to get free from him. 

“You okay?” Thomas wondered to the boy with the twisted arm and he had regained a little of his composure as he held his elbow in slight pain.

“Yeah.. I’m good. Fuckin’ hurts like a bitch, though,” he answered, able to tell that he was struggling to hide how much I knew it actually hurt.

“Suck it up, pussy,” Thomas replied and his friend didn’t say anything back, Thomas then focusing on me again and a new grin formed on his lips.

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Thomas then leaned in slightly to my level as his friend continued to hold me strongly in place, “You know what would be better than getting to do this right now? Getting to see Fish’s reaction to whatever state we decide to leave you in,” he threatened and my brows furrowed in anger, “Some of you here in this state, maybe some of you in the neighboring ones,” he continued, not realizing at first what he had meant, through I grit my teeth as even more anger coursed through me and he grinned more when he realized that I understood his threat.

“This is between you and me, isn’t it? If you want to fight, why do you need help from your friends? You’re pathetic,” I hissed, attempting to get out of his friends grip again, but somehow he was still able to hold me so tightly that I couldn’t break out of it.

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“Man.. You know what’s funny, now that I’m looking at you? I can’t even count on one hand how many times I’ve fucked up Fish, and now here you are, his precious boy toy.. It’s like I’m getting a present for Christmas in the middle of June,” he spoke with the same grin and I hadn’t had any idea that Oliver was getting bullied at school.. It made me wonder if that was why, too, he didn’t want to come over before we lived together when we first started dating. He must’ve never wanted me to see him like that.. But, now that I knew Thomas had been doing such things to the person that mattered most to me, I found strength to get passed the pain coursing through my entire face from being hit.

“You’re trash, you know that? Pathetic, disgusting trash that feels the need to beat other people up because his own life is far more pitiful than anyone else’s and instead of trying to make it better, you make others miserable, too.. Or in this case, try to and fail,” I replied and his grin was wiped from his lips.

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“Last chance to give this up or you might not be able to walk away after this,” Thomas threatened and I tried to jerk myself out of his friends grip one last time, but it was no use.

“Fuck you, just get it over with.. I love him. No one can make me forget that and no one can make me regret it, no matter how much you mess me up.. You should know, too, that this threat doesn’t go as far as me leaving Oliver and it being done.. He won’t leave me, either. He loves me, he hates Jody and nothing can take me away from him, and nothing can take him away from me.. All this is is an empty threat with no real backbone,” I replied confidently, knowing that whatever beating Thomas could give me would never compromise my love for Oliver and I saw in Thomas’ eyes that he knew how serious I was.

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I watched as his arm extended back and his fist hit my face harder than I thought he could punch yet again, my jaw instantly going weak and I felt blood pouring into my mouth from my lip being split and the inside of my cheek getting cut by my teeth. He pulled back his fist again, this time punching me straight in the nose, then his left fist against my cheek and I was dazed again for a moment, a steady stream of blood escaping my lips and it didn’t make me regret anything, it only made me think of Oliver and how blood made him nauseous.

I remembered when I had cut my finger long ago and I caught him from fainting in my kitchen.. Sweet, sweet Oliver, the man who wanted to be a doctor yet couldn’t handle blood, a subtle smirk forming on my lips just at the thought of such irony. But, any blood spilled was well worth it if it meant Oliver was untouched and safe. I’d do anything to keep him, I’d take any beating there was.. Anything.

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After a few more punches that eventually caused my head to hang, blood continuing to pour from my mouth and I hung on the edge of consciousness, I coughed in a struggled manner, trying not to swallow the blood that gathered over my tongue and tipping my head down to drain it, my eyes then looking up and Thomas looked down at me.

Had enough yet?” He questioned and I honestly found it funny, chuckling softly.

“You’re done already?” I questioned, taunting him more and I saw in his eyes that he was filled with rage at how I was still able to take this pitiful excuse of a beating he gave.

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The next beating I got, Thomas lifted his left leg and kicked the right side of my face and I was dazed yet again, then once I felt his foot kick at the side of my torso, I felt as well as heard a soft crack and I cried out quickly in pain, knowing that at least one of my ribs had either cracked or broke and Thomas’ friend didn’t need to hold me in place any longer.

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I dropped to the ground, holding my side in pain and I felt like I could barely breath, my entire torso refusing to expand from the pain in my side when inhaling and the blood constantly filling my mouth wasn’t helping, either.. They weren’t actually going to kill me, were they? They couldn’t.. No.. They just couldn’t.. I couldn’t handle not seeing Oliver again, not being able to touch him or hearing him tell me to my face that he loves me.. I couldn’t take it. I can’t go out like this.

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As they talked among themselves on what they wanted to do to me, tuning them out completely as I struggled to stay conscious, there was something else I heard besides them. Rustling from the bushes came into my ears again like before, before these assholes had shown up and my eyes looked right, seeing someone from my peripherals emerge from the brush.

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I heard something else, though.. Something distinct.. Something that would scare any bully away and there was no mistaking that sound.. The sound of a wooden bat being tapped against the blacktop. 

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As the sound approached, getting closer and closer and the three young men still oblivious, the unforgettable sound of wood cracking against a skull echoed over the empty parking lot and as my view was towards the blacktop, one of Thomas’ friends fell limp in front of me like a sack of bricks.

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“What the fuc-” I heard the other boy call out, but just as quick as he had tried to yell, he, too, was quickly taken out of the picture and yet another loud, unforgettable crack echoed over the parking lot and I heard his body fall limp behind me.

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“Dude! D-Dude, holy shit!” Thomas yelled in horror and I heard his feet scrambling and attempting to run away, but when I looked up, my vision blurred without my glasses as well as my eyes swollen and tearing from my beating, I watched a black figure holding a bat turning towards Thomas attempting to run away.

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Winding his arms back over his head as he held the bat, he then launched it forward and let it go, sending it to the back of Thomas’ neck and his body fell face first into the blacktop. 

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I quickly glanced towards the boy lying in front of me, seeing a pool of blood forming around his head and under his face, hating that I knew right away he was dead and there was nothing to do about it.. Yet.. Whoever this man was, he just saved my life.

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I then looked back up when I heard Thomas still struggling, not unconscious like I had thought and I watched as he attempted to crawl backwards and away from the figure approaching him. 

“P-Please! Don’t.. Don’t come near me! Stay away from me!” Thomas pleaded in desperation, watching as the stranger picked up his bat again and my eyes widened in shock.

“St.. Stop,” I struggled to say loud enough through my pain, the stranger not bothering to look back at me.

“I don’t think so,” the stranger replied to me in a stern, deep voice, almost sounding excited and as much as I was surprised that he had heard me, I was even more baffled that he was now finding some type of joy in doing this to these boys.

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“S-Stop!” I tried to call out louder, my ribs killing me as well as my split lip and bleeding cheeks when I exerted the word. Once the word completely fell off my tongue, I watched the stranger twirl the handle of his bat fluidly within the one hand that held it, winding up like a batter to the plate and my heart was racing faster as I knew what was coming next. After the twirl, the stranger gripped the handle tightly and he sent the bat crashing down onto Thomas and horribly, for the third time, I was overcome by the sound of wood cracking a skull.

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I winced my eyes shut to the noise, trying my hardest to block it out, but over and over and over I heard it, again and again, and soon, it didn’t even sound like there was any skull left to abuse.

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When the sound had finally stopped after a moment that seemed to last forever, still continuing to wince my eyes shut, eventually, I opened them once more and looked up with caution. The stranger dressed in black stood over Thomas and I was glad that I couldn’t see from this distance what the end result of Thomas’ remains looked like. The stranger continued to stand there, watching as he then tilted his head back and he gathered his panting breath while looking up at the star filled sky. 

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A few silent moments passed and I then noticed the man turn his head to the left and towards me, but he didn’t look directly back at me, “You okay?” He wondered, completely blindsided by the tone of slight worry in his voice and I didn’t know what to say back at first, but I eventually responded to his question through my continued pain.

“..Yeah..” I replied and he faced forward towards the sky once more, sighing in relief.

“God, I’ve been waiting so long for a chance to finally do that,” he said softly under his breath, but somehow I heard every word and I couldn’t even begin to try and fathom what he meant by it.

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“Who..” I coughed, spitting blood on the blacktop as well as my clothes, “Who are you?” I asked the stranger, but he ignored my question.

The stranger dropped his bat, hearing it clatter on the blacktop and he walked back over towards me, a sense of fear flowing through me now as I watched him stop in front of me. Even though he had just saved me from a terrible beating, or even death, I was a little frightened by the man.. He had just killed three people before my eyes.

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He bent down slowly and his fingers were gentle as me touched my chin and brought my gaze up to look at him, inspecting what Thomas had done to me and although it was dark and my vision was still a bit blurred, I could only make out subtle details about him now that he was a lot closer to me. I looked up to a man in his mid-to-late forties that had slick, black, pampered hair that was clearly too dark to be natural, prominent emerald eyes hiding behind black framed glasses, both gentle yet intimidating and I didn’t even know what do or say but the obvious.

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“Tha.. Thank you..” I spoke quietly, both appreciative and rather fearful of the murderer staring back at me and he removed his hand from my chin, bringing both of his hands to my upper arms and he held up my weak frame.

“You’ll be okay, I’ll get you help. Hang in there, Isaiah,” he encouraged and I looked at him in slight confusion.

“H-How.. How do you know my name?” I questioned.

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I was beginning to lose consciousness and the stranger seemed to have taken notice, his next words coming out as if they needed to be said and as if I needed to hear them.

“I took care of them, now you take care of my boy,” he instructed and I swore that I must’ve heard him wrong.. But, before I could answer or even question him, I drifted out of consciousness and the night grew darker, soon seeing nothing but black walls closing in around me and it was the last thing I remembered.

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Next Chapter |

Generation 3, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 2 of 2

Attention: NSFW, blood, violence.

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    Gibson’s POV     

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The looks on their faces, the way that their arms dropped from holding one another, the sense of a slight fear creeping up their spines, I loved it all. The rain from the storm outside tapped heavily against the roof of the bakery, but the silence within it was deafening as I continued to sit in my chair, staring at them. A small grin sprung to my lips as I watched their discomfort, assuming they were still in shock from seeing me and I decided to repeat my question, “I suppose I’ll ask again.. I wasn’t interrupting anything important, was I? I’d hate to intrude on your alone time together. I would be so embarrassed..” I began with a little humor, though I’m sure they had no idea I was only amusing only myself.

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“N-No, of course not.. He was just.. Helping me move around some heavy boxes..” She lied and I chuckled, though not loud enough for either of them to hear, “W-What are you doing here..? Where are the kids?” Hannah wondered about first and I kept my smirk, finding it rather amusing that she continued to deny what I already knew had happened behind that storage room door. She must’ve thought that I had just gotten here.

“They’re fine, they’re at Nina’s.. They’re having a sleepover because I don’t think either of us will be coming home tonight,” I replied. 

“W-What..?” She asked, confused by my words, but before I could answer her, even though I didn’t even plan to, Gareth took a step forward.

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“Gibson, this isn’t what it looks like..” Gareth spoke and I laughed.

“It isn’t? Then what’s your excuse for all of this? Do you honestly think I’m that stupid? Oh, wait, that’s right.. Silly me, I always get the sound of you helping my wife move around ‘heavy boxes’ and the sound of her orgasm confused,” I replied angrily with sarcasm and I stood from the chair offensively, Gareth taking a step forward in front of Hannah and I knew that from what I had said, they could assume that I knew the truth now. “Really? You of all people are protecting my wife? From what, Gareth? You’re worse than I am and you know it..” I threatened through my clenched teeth.

“Sounds like to me you’re looking to take that torch and I don’t want that to happen right now. Let’s just calm down, okay..? Let’s go somewhere and talk about this, you and me,” he offered as a compromise and I scoffed lightly.

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“Nah, right here is just fine. I’d like to ask just a few simple questions to help speed up this process and to help me understand all of this,” I spoke with a sense of calmness and Gareth lowered his guard just slightly. “Oh, and I’d like the truth the first time, if I have to ask again, well.. Let’s just say you really don’t want me to..” I continued, seeing that I had both of their full attention now. “How long?” I asked in a demanding tone, seeing both of them grow reluctant to answer and they were silent for a few long seconds, though Hannah spoke up first to my surprise.

“Three years,” she replied and just by the look in her eyes, I knew she was telling the truth. My lips parted slightly and I exhaled heavily at the amount of time I had been oblivious until today. I had my suspicious, but I didn’t actually act on them until this past week when I got Ezra involved, and I didn’t get the truth until about half an hour ago from him. But, three years..? Then that meant..

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“Camilla’s not mine, is she?” I more stated than asked and Gareth looked over his shoulder towards Hannah, both of us watching as she shook her head ‘no’ and confirmed my assumption. “Is she Gareth’s?” I continued and I watched as Gareth looked to me in confusion and shock, then back towards Hannah. She hesitated a moment, looking between Gareth and I a few times and finally she nodded ‘yes’.

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“W-What..?” Gareth asked her, taking a step back and away from her and she began to panic a little.

“I-I.. I’m sorry..” Hannah said in a desperate manner and I looked to Gareth.

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“Don’t act like you didn’t know..” I threatened him and he turned towards me.

“I didn’t know!” Gareth replied angrily, staring me down for a moment and his response was actually a little believable. 

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Put two and two together, dumbass.. Camilla’s less than three years old and from what I can assume, you’ve been with Hannah a lot more than I have in those years.. You know, while I was working thirteen hour days, babysitting Oliver and Camilla while at my job, the job I was sacrificing my time with them so I could provide for them, all while you two were having the time of your lives,” I replied. I looked down at the money on the table top next to me and ran my fingertips over one of the stacks, “Gareth just comes along and flashes a few stacks of money in front of your nose and you take the easy way, without me.. You take the money, this.. Dirty money, without telling me.. And then, on top of that-” I looked back up to Hannah, “As a thank you for his generosity, you fuck him, leaving me in the dark..” I continued, seeing Hannah break her gaze from me and she hung her head as she cried softly. 

I didn’t know what was wrong with me right now, it still felt as if I was calm when I knew I should be feeling so much more than this.. A nuke had just landed in my lap, yet it seemed as if I was impervious to it.

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“Gibson, I’m sorry.. I truly am,” Hannah spoke with a genuine yet shaky tone and I changed my demeanor, my expression growing softer.

“I loved you, Hannah.. I thought you were the one and I thought you felt the same about me. We’d been hurt in the past, we were sick of not being treated the way we felt like we should be, and then.. You threw it away, like it was nothing..” I replied, watching her look up to me again and she stepped a little closer towards me.

“I still love you, I’m just.. I was so confused, I was so lonely without you, but you weren’t there for me! For us! I tried to tell you, I tried to make you see what it was doing to me, but you just kept insisting that that’s what was best for us.. All you did was care about your job..”

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“I cared about my job so much because it’s what helped me take care of my family!” I spat back angrily, “I sacrificed so much so that you and the kids could have everything you needed or wanted.. I know I wasn’t there a lot, you made sure to rub that in my face every chance that you could get.. But.. What, you think I liked being away from my family? You think I preferred work? Don’t be so fucking stupid, Hannah.. You’ve known from the very beginning that I wanted children, why the hell would you think I liked being away from them!? From you?!” I continued to yell and she only grew more upset, her expression beginning to show regret and it’s as if my words had finally sunk in after all these years and she realized how unfair she’s been for the first time, ever since these arguments had started.

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“..I’m so sorry I’ve been so weak, for everything that I’ve done.. Nothing like this will ever happen again.. I’ll stick it out with you, I want this to work, Gibson,” she replied and I looked in her eyes, noticing the genuine glint they held and I lifted my hand towards her.

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“Come here..” I requested and Hannah let out a relieved sigh, he expression matching the same relief and she walked towards me.

“Hannah, wait..” Gareth pleaded, as if sad that she hadn’t chose him over me, but she ignored him completely and continued, stopping in front of me.

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I lifted my hand and I gently caressed her face, feeling her warm skin and I watched her shut her eyes, pressing her cheek against my hand a little more and enjoying my touch. I missed touching her like this, in such a sensual and loving way. I couldn’t remember the last time we’d done this.. I studied her face, noticing she was somewhat happy and I watched her open her eyes again, looking up to me with tears still running down her cheeks and I smirked towards her, running my thumb under her eye and wiping the evidence of sorrow away even though her tears kept coming.

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“D-Does.. Does this mean you forgive me?” Hannah wondered, hope in her glistening blue eyes and I chuckled warmly with a smirk on my lips.

“Aw.. No, sweetheart,” I replied with sincerity, removing my hand from her face and I reached back into my waistband.

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I pulled out the pistol, pulling the hammer back quickly and I put the end of the barrel against the underneath of her jaw, hearing her gasp suddenly when the cold metal touched her warm, delicate skin, “You can ask for forgiveness when you’re in hell,” I replied with a stern, confident tone and her eyes widened in shock, but before she could answer me, a loud, deafening crack of thunder simultaneously roared over the sky as I pulled the trigger. Blood spat upward and decorated the ceiling and I watched as her body went limp and fell to the ground.

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HANNAH!” Gareth called out in horror, beginning to run towards her and I pulled the hammer back once more within a split second, shooting Gareth in the left knee and he let out a cry in pain, falling face first to the ground. “Ahhh! Fuuuck, fuck, fuck, fuck..!” He called out in agony, his hands going to his knee and holding it gingerly as I listened to his suffering moans.

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I lowered the gun, watching as blood began showing through the fabric of his jeans by his knee and his hands grew shaky as he wished desperately that he could hold his knee to dull the pain, but he couldn’t. I took in a deep breath, letting it out slowly and I tilted my head as I looked down at him, seeing him rocking gently back and forth as he continued to express the amount of pain he was in. 

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“Y-You.. You fucking killed her! H-How could you do that?!” He called out, watching him look towards Hannah and his expression began to twist into a gentle sorrow. Gareth began to crawl slowly and he reached out towards her, but before he could touch her, I pulled back the hammer once more and lifted the gun, shooting his hand dead center.

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I heard him let out another cry in pain and he pulled it back and coddled his hand against his chest, “I think you’ve touched her enough today..” I said with a stern tone as I watched him lying on the ground in pain, then using his uninjured left hand and his unscathed right leg to quickly push himself away from her body and also away from me.

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I looked to Hannah, lying there motionless on the ground as wet, crimson blood quickly pooled around her head. I looked to her legs, admiring them one last time and remembering how much I loved them, but I still felt it was strange that I didn’t feel any guilt for what I had done, I felt more accomplished than anything else..

Just like old times..

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I bent down next to her body, reaching out and my fingertips caressed down from her thigh to her mid calf, enjoying her smooth skin that was already beginning to turn cold. “Did you really have to take her from me? Do you even know what love is..? Have you ever felt that before?” I wondered, looking up and over towards Gareth and he was leaning up against the half wall not too far from me, holding his injured hand.

“I-I.. I can’t be sure..” Gareth replied with a struggle through his pain, his voice shaky and uneven.

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“You didn’t at least feel it with her? ..With Hannah?” I asked and I noticed him hesitate a moment, though still unable to give me a straight answer.

“I.. I don’t know, okay..?”

“If you don’t know, then you never did.. So.. Why did you? If you didn’t love her, then why? How could you do that to me, even after knowing how much it had hurt me the first time..?”

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“I-I.. I don’t kn-“

“Stop telling me you don’t fucking know!” I yelled angrily, standing straight up again and I lifted the gun, pointing it at Gareth.

“Gibs, no! Please! Please, don’t!” He pleaded, holding up his uninjured hand and he turned his head away from me, unable to watch his own brother end his life. “Please, Gibs..”

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“I knew.. I knew she was the one and you see one little opportunity to plant yourself in her life that you had no business being a part of! You took advantage of me, of her, of our situation.. You couldn’t just leave me the hell alone, could you!?” I continued yelling, stepping around Hannah and walking closer to Gareth. “So, why? Why did you do it!”

Gareth’s head turned towards me slightly, lowering his hand only a little and looking up to me with a pathetic expression, “..N-Now that I think about it, I-I might’ve been jealous.. I never wanted a normal life like you, I never wanted a wife, or kids, or anything serious at all.. All I wanted was to live with you and do what we do best,” he replied, letting out another tone of despair and adjusting his injured leg just slightly through his pain, “I was jealous of the ones that were able to take you away, so I took them from you in hopes you’d see that I’m the only one you can rely on..”

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“Well.. You didn’t realize that it caused you more harm than good, case in point, how you’re lying on the ground now, how my wife, your lover, is dead, and how I’m never going to speak to you ever again after this,” I answered, seeing him look to me and his eyes showed panic.

“What..? Wait.. No, Gibs..” He replied, his tone a little desperate and I pulled back the hammer of the gun, “Gibs, don’t!” He begged as he lie there. 

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I heard a roar of thunder crash outside and I shot Gareth in the right shoulder at the same time, hearing him call out in agony after the thunder had passed and he gripped his shoulder in pain. “P-Please, Gibson! Stop this!” He continued to beg and he let out more signs of suffering as he held his shoulder. The lightning following the thunder illuminated the bakery momentarily, watching as the blood already spilled on the floor glistened quickly from the sudden light. Though I still felt bits of anger and resentment, I continued to feel calm, collected, and at ease.. Like this was meant to happen.. Like I was meant to leave it all behind in order to have the normal life I craved so much. I had to leave everything, and everyone.

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I quickly walked towards Gareth and bent down in front of him, grabbing the top of his head by his long hair and I forced him to look at me, hearing him continuing to breath heavily and he let out a gentle groan of pain every so often, “We will never be the same again.. I don’t ever want to know that you’re looking for me, and I never want to see your face again,” I exclaimed, putting the gun to his cheek threateningly, “Are we at an understanding?” I asked angrily. 

“Gibs.. Please..” Gareth pleaded once again and I pressed the barrel more into his cheek.

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“Do I have to put this in your mouth and pull the trigger for you to understand?” I threatened, seeing him look down towards the gun, then back up to my eyes. He stared at me for a long moment, “You know I’ll do it,” I threatened again.

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“..If you meant it, you would’ve killed me already,” he replied, still staring me dead in the eyes and I swallowed hard, unable to comprehend how he was still able to have this hold over me, to still be able to control me even though I was the one with the weapon, the one with the upper hand, the one running this show.

“I hate you,” I replied angrily, seeing his expression change from a slight confidence to a gentle sorrow and his eyes read as if he wished I regretted my words, but.. I didn’t. I put my thumb against the back of the hammer and pushed it forward, clicking the safety on after and tucking the gun back within the waistline of my pants against my spine.

So, this is how it ends. Me being forced to abandon everything that I am, abandoning everyone I know and love and skipping town. I was too much of a coward to turn myself in or risk getting caught, it was in my blood not to, it was the one thing Gareth and I had promised we’d never let happen, and every time we killed together, we only got better and better at avoiding the consequences behind our actions. Why would I let myself get caught now? I was sloppy this time around, my prints are everywhere and I’m even leaving behind an eye witness, but I just couldn’t bring myself to kill Gareth.. Even after all he’s done..

I thought of Oliver, the one thing in this life that I never once regretted and I hated myself for leaving him behind, but I couldn’t face him.. I just hoped he was old enough to understand why all of this had happened, and that I, in the end, wasn’t the one to blame.

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I watched as his regretful expression turned into a calmed one from me putting the gun away, though as he watched me, standing up from my crouched position, there, in this silence with him, I knew he could finally tell I was serious. “You r-really mean it.. You’re leaving me, for good this time.. I-I’m never going to see you again.. Am I..?” He asked, seeing him staring up at me and his eyes were filled with regret, despair, and even anger.

“No.. You won’t..” I confirmed for him.

“..I.. I’m sorry, Gibson.. I deserve all of this.. But, I-I’ll do anything.. W-What can I do to m-make it up to you..?” Gareth asked, his voice getting more uneven than before and I knew he was losing a lot of blood. 

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“You get to explain to my son why he doesn’t have any parents anymore, you get to tell him why all of this happened and how you are the worst person that anyone could have in their life, you need to make sure that he knows I love him.. And.. And you need to give me a head start,” I replied sternly, seeing Gareth wincing in both pain and the meaning behind my words, “Do you have your phone on you?” I ask and he nods, “If you’re still alive, call an ambulance in ten minutes.. I need to get a few things from house before I leave for good,” I requested and Gareth stared at me for a long moment, as if taking one last look at me, then nodding in agreement to my request.

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I turned around and made my way towards the door, but stopped when I heard Gareth, “Gibs, wait..” He said desperately, turning my head slightly to let him know he had my attention, though I didn’t look over my shoulder to see him.

“What..” I asked sternly.

“D-Do you.. Do you really hate me?” Gareth asked softly, letting out another groan in pain as he waited for my answer.

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My insides were twisting as I stood there, feeling his eyes on me and I honestly didn’t know what to say. When I had said it earlier, I was saying it out of anger, though now that everything has finally sunk in, looking at everything laid out before me, I didn’t know how to answer him. I hated him for ruining my life, for taking the woman I loved, for causing me to go to such extreme lengths so I could let out this much needed frustration and urge to spill blood, but.. As stupid as I was for thinking this, we’ve been together since the moment we took our first breaths of air and I could never hate what we used to have. His excuse for ruining everything wasn’t just, nor did it make sense, it just made him look even more pathetic than he already was. I pitied him. He’s lost just as much as I have, and he’s about to say goodbye to the one person he’s been so scared of losing this whole time..

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I looked back at Gareth and we stared at one another for a few seconds, me not bothering to answer Gareth’s question and I then broke the eye contact we held and looked towards Hannah. I took one last look at her, seeing what I had done and it didn’t take me long to get sick of the sight and I turned towards the door. 

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I unlocked the door and opened it, the sound of the heavy rain and thunder greeting me as I walked out onto the deck and I went to the parking lot, getting into my car and driving home as fast as I could. I could barely breathe, my lungs felt constricted the more I drove and my entire body began to shake. I had killed my wife, shot my brother three times and left him to die, and now I was about to pack everything that I could think of that I would need in order to leave my current life behind and I was going to leave my son with no excuse and without seeing him one last time. I felt like I had a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, glad that I had dealt with everything accordingly, or at least the best outcome I could think of, yet I still couldn’t get passed the fact that I was abandoning my child because I was too much of a coward to face what I had done and to accept the consequences. If anything, I should be setting a good example by confessing, turning myself in, letting Oliver hate me for killing his Mother, but I just couldn’t bare seeing him again. He was the last person that I wanted to hate me, and although I knew he was going to as soon as he found out what happened tonight, I was too much of a coward to face him and to accept the hate I knew he’d have for me. I couldn’t see it in his eyes, I can’t..

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I pulled into the driveway and bolted out of my car, rushing inside of the house and seeing that the inside was completely dark. It felt so weird being here and not being greeted by Hannah, or Oliver, or Camilla, the house was as dead as my life and it was a good representation of what I had lying before me.. Emptiness.. Darkness.. Everything I never wanted..

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I sighed heavily and continued to my bedroom, getting out an ‘overnight’ bag from under the bed and I began filling it with my clothes from the dresser, going as quickly as I could. I went to my desk next but stopped, looking at the photo upon it and staring at the family I had created here, letting everything sink in more and I couldn’t stop looking at it. My heart felt heavy and my body needed to rest, pulling the chair out from the desk and I sat down for a moment, my gaze never leaving the picture and I could feel my eyes beginning to water and soon tears clouded my vision.

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I hung my head, letting my tears fall into the insides of my glasses and soon falling to the ground when the tears had pooled enough within the lenses. Bringing my hand to my face, I removed my glasses quickly and chucked them angrily with a quick burst of force across the room, rubbing my eyes then with my other hand and clearing the tears away. I ran my fingers through my hair, struggling to calm down and regain my composure, but how could I at a time like this..?

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I took a few slow, deep breaths, trying to regain what little composure I had left in me and I stood up, taking the photo from the desk and tossing it into my bag before closing it up. I looked around the room once more, my vision only slightly blurred, but I could still at least guess what every object was and what significance it once held.. I knew I was going to miss this life, I was going to miss everything about it. Despite all the bad that had happened recently, I couldn’t deny that there were some key points within this life that I’d never forget, the happy points.. The days that my brother and I would sit back and relax with a few beers together, telling stories, playing games, or just remembering the past before everything went to shit.. The days I’d spent with Hannah where if she would give me a certain look that only I knew, I swear my heart was going to burst.. The day my son was born and the first squeal of happiness he projected when he saw me for the first time with an accompanied toothless smile.. Those are the little things I’d never forget.

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I went to my desk again, grabbing a pen and staring down at a notepad. I needed to say something, anything, I couldn’t just leave without a single word to Oliver.. He didn’t deserve that. The more I stared at the notepad, the less time I had to make my getaway, so I quickly wrote down the first thing that came to mind when I thought of Oliver and I dropped the pen quickly, rushing to my bag and picking it up, then leaving my bedroom and walking back through the house to leave.

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One last look, one last smell, and a few last memories came to me as I stopped and looked back at the dark, empty home..

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This was it.. Once I walk out this door, there’s no coming back. This was the end of the line for me. I am no longer the same man I was before, I am no longer a part of this life, I no longer have a brother, or a wife, or children, and I am no longer Gibson Aries Dubois.

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End of Generation Three

Generation 3, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 1 of 2

    Ezra’s POV     

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This was the part of my job that I hated the most; waiting.. Waiting for anything to happen at all. I started earlier this week watching Hannah, Gibson’s wife, like he had asked, and just by how uneventful this week of watching her has been, it made me regret not charging him because I was actually really bored. But, I guess my pay was good enough since I was helping out a friend and I got to stare at a fox like her all day. The best part of some of my jobs was watching hot housewives, or making them disappear..

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I got coffee and went to Gibson’s house around six this morning, seeing him leave with Oliver and Camilla and I assumed he was off to take his son to school and go to work with his daughter. About half an hour later, I saw Hannah leave and I followed her to her bakery, watching her open and getting the place ready. As I sat in my car, drinking the coffee I had, I let out a relaxed sigh and I was actually glad it was Friday, but for more than one reason.

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Gibson was a good, old friend of mine, and as much as I enjoyed helping him out when he needed me and I was seemingly the only one he could turn to, I really wished that today would be the last of it, and that Hannah would prove that she wasn’t messing around with anyone else. He didn’t deserve something like this.. I had heard from Gareth that Gibson had found out about his last girlfriend cheating on Gibson with him, which was actually surprising considering how close they were to one another.. I would’ve never thought Gareth would do something like that.. But, then again, I don’t know the whole story, only the general sense of it from Gareth telling me.. Since it’s already happened once to Gibson, I’d hate to report back to him with the same information, that she was cheating. “Alright, Hannah.. Today’s your last day, beautiful.. Don’t disappoint me,” I said to myself quietly as I sat in the car, continuing to watch her from afar.

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Gareth and I have been seeing a lot of each other compared to Gibson and I. I used to be the boss, the head honcho in town to call for ‘exterminations’, the kind of jobs I used to give to Gareth a few years ago, but he’s proved to be rather resourceful and he’s gotten a lot better at this type of thing than I have. He surpassed me about a year ago, taking over the jobs I’d usually assign him and he would assign them for himself now and give me all the shit jobs, kinda like the one I was doing now for Gibson. I guess Gareth’s the boss now of this area, and to be quite honest, the guy scares me. A lot. 

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A few months back, Gareth needed help with a job and he needed me to be a lookout so he could get it done without any screw up’s. I only helped because he promised me a cut of the money and it seemed easy enough to make some quick cash just by keeping an eye out for him while he worked the job. This case was different, though.. While Gareth was carrying out the job, I took a look at the piece of paper with the strict instructions on it that he had left in the car, reading it with wide eyes the whole time and I was nervous to even check on him.. The things that the customer requested for him to do was a job only Gareth could carry out and it was very specific. The customer wasn’t getting anything out of this, no dead-spouse money, no property, nothing, all he was getting was the satisfaction of knowing his wife was tortured before she was killed and he didn’t even put a limit on what Gareth could do.. Just as long as she suffered.

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I checked on Gareth after about an hour of keeping a lookout, we had caught her and brought her to an abandoned warehouse just outside of town.. When I went into the warehouse, I kept my presence unknown to Gareth and I could hear pain, suffering, the torture he was instructed to do being carried out and echoing through the warehouse.. I was nervous to even lay my eyes among what he had done to her already.. I came around a corner and I’ll never forget what I saw. Blood, everywhere. I knew the woman was still alive, but even if I went into all of this not knowing it was a woman, I wouldn’t know the gender either way when looking at the body that was on his table, there was too much blood and too many parts missing or mutilated that there was no way to tell for sure.

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I got chills as I sat in the car, my stomach feeling a little queezy after remembering that job with Gareth and I tried to not focus on it anymore, putting my attention back on the bakery and I continued to watched Hannah, who was a breath of fresh air to look at compared to what I just had in my mind. As I sat there, I wondered to myself what kind of person Gibson was.. I knew him to be a lot like his brother, though of course they were entirely different at the same time. I wondered why Gareth made it a point for me to never ask Gibson to do what we do, to never breath a word to him about what it is that we do exactly, and to not even mention that we worked together.. I was surprised when Gibson had called me last week asking for these kinds of services, but I don’t think he knew that our jobs went way passed the point of just simply tailing people.

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I sat in the car for hours, taking one or two quick bathroom breaks in the surrounding shops and continuing to sit in my car as I watched Hannah’s business, trying to keep myself occupied by either thinking of inappropriate things regarding Hannah, or just spacing out in general and thinking of absolutely nothing as I starred at the bakery. The clock inside my car read four-thirty-two and I assumed she was closing at five tonight like she did on Monday. “Nothin’ to report, Gibson.. Day ain’t over yet, though..” I said softly to myself, getting a little more attentive now that it was getting close to the time when she would close up the shop and head home. 

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I removed my shades, watching as the last customer left just before five and I watched as Hannah brought in her standing menu from outside, watching her lock the doors as well and flipping her green ‘open’ sign to the red ‘closed’. I let out a relaxed sigh, glad that this all had turned out to be one big chase with no result and also happy that Hannah wasn’t doing anything behind Gibson’s back. “Alright, sweetheart.. Just turn the lights off and head home, then my work is done,” I said quietly to myself again.

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The sun finally hid over the horizon and I continued to watch her walking throughout the bakery, shutting almost all of the lights off, but she left the ones closest to the doors within the kitchen on and I began to wonder why. “Why are you leavin’ those lights on? Just leave, Hannah.. Please, just leave..” I somewhat pleaded as I continued to watch her. 

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I sat there for fifteen minutes, watching Hannah cleaning the counters slowly, counting the register slowly, even pushing in all the chairs more than they needed to be, slowly.. Like as if she.. “Fuck.. Are you waiting for someone..? Come on, Hannah, just go home.. Why aren’t you leaving?” I asked myself. About a minute later, I watched as a car pulled into the same parking lot I was in, though on the other side of the lot. Naturally, I ducked down, peaking up only a little and I looked to the car that had pulled in using my side-view mirror, “Wait.. I know that car..”

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I continued to watch the car and eventually the driver got out, my heart instantly beginning to race when I saw Gareth and I watched him with my eyes growing wider in shock. He looked around the area a little, checking his surroundings and I was glad that I was far away enough for him to not notice me watching him in my car. He walked slowly through the parking lot, smoking a cigarette and taking his time with it and I watched as he stood in the rain for a few moments. As he smoked, assuming he was finishing his cigarette before going anywhere, I noticed he was starring in the same direction that the bakery was, as if watching Hannah, just like I was.

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Gareth tossed his cigarette when he was finished with it, bringing his hands up to the collar of his jacket and popping it up a little more to hide his neck from the rain and I watched as he began his venture towards the bakery, “No.. No, no, no.. Don’t go, Gareth.. If you’re headed where I think you are..” I spoke softly to myself, continuing to watch him and the moment he reached Hannah’s bakery parking lot and began walking up onto the deck, my heart started beating faster and it was actually a little hard for me to believe all of it at first.

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“You stupid son of a bitch, Gareth..” I said, watching as he knocked on the bakery’s locked door and I noticed Hannah’s face light up with excitement when she had seen Gareth. “Fuck, fuck, fuck.. Don’t Hannah, don’t do anything fuckin’ stupid,” I continued, watching as she unlocked the door and let him in, Gareth then walking in and locking the door again behind himself. “Wait.. He is her brother-in-law.. M-Maybe he’s just there to talk..?” I tried to convince myself.

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I watched through the open windows as Gareth manhandled her a little, gripping her ass and pulling her into him and my insides sank as I watched them kiss. “Ohh, fuck.. I can’t deal with this shit! What the hell am I going to tell Gibson? He’s going to freak the fuck out! Shit, shit, shit!” I panicked, “Oh God, the fact that I haven’t called him already, he must be thinking that something’s up.. What do I even say?!” I asked myself quickly, “God dammit, Gareth!”

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I looked back to the bakery after having a mini freak out and I watched as Gareth and Hannah talked for a moment, then Gareth pulled out a few stacks of cash from his pockets and held them within his hands.. I recognized those stacks, they looked a lot like the stacks we got for the jobs we carried out.. Hannah took the stacks and put them within the register, “Shit.. So that’s where she’s getting the money Gibson mentioned.. He’s been giving her the money he makes from his jobs.. He wouldn’t tell her where or how he got it, she probably wouldn’t take it if she knew where it came from,” I continued, still watching them and it didn’t take much time at all before they were in each other’s arms again and kissing once more. 

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I sat in my car, starring at the bakery and watching this unfold before my eyes, “If they’re about to fuck, do I call Gibson? ..Do I tell him after Gareth leaves? Fuck! I.. I gotta get out of here!” I told myself, quickly starting my car and pulling out of the parking lot to go home. I pulled my phone out of my pocket, driving as quick as I could and I dialed Gibson, but not before I was far away enough from the bakery just in case he wanted to go there and confront them.. I didn’t need that kind of drama and I didn’t want to be anywhere near that. Being in the middle of Gareth and Gibson fighting? I didn’t want to be within the same town as that..

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“Hey, Ezra.. Calling a little later than I expected. Everything go okay today?” Gibson asked and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I really hated to have to do this to him, but I guess it’s what he wanted, so here goes..

“Ehh.. Uhh.. Listen, Gibs.. I can’t do this shit anymore, I know this is my last day anyways, but I can’t watch her anymore. I can’t risk your brother seeing me. He scares the fuck out of me, dude, and if he knew I was spying on him, he’d kill me, literally.. I’m not even fucking joking. He would physically make me sorry and I can’t let that happen.. Okay? I.. I just can’t do it anymore, alright?” I said with more panic than I intended.

“..Wait, wait.. Ezra, what the hell’s going on?” Gibson asked, and I noticed then that his voice got a lot quieter, “Why are you talking about Gareth? I didn’t ask you to follow him at all, I wanted you to only follow Hannah.. I thought I was pretty clear on that..?” He replied, confused a little and I hated that I had to explain it even more.. Or.. Maybe he was in so much doubt that he didn’t want it to be true..?

“Look.. I was just at the bakery, man, and I’m not following Gareth, but.. But, he’s.. He’s the one that showed up! Gareth showed up there and I-I saw..” I paused, taking a few deeps breaths, but before I could continue, Gibson replied with a tone that sounded more collected than I thought he’d be, though the underlining anger is what made me feel a gentle sense of fear..

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“What did you see..” He more demanded than asked and I swallowed hard, still driving quickly towards my house and I pulled into the dock parking lot, getting out of my car and walking towards my house hastily.

“You know what, I-I don’t even know what the fuck I saw, I just.. I can’t watch her anymore, alright? I can’t get seen by Gareth.. I’m calling it quits right now..”

“Are you still watching them?” He demanded next and my hand shook as I removed the keys from my pocket and unlocked my door, walking inside my house.

“No.. I.. I went home.. I just got here..” I replied, shutting the door behind me and standing there, frozen in my tracks.

“I’m coming over.” He announced abruptly and I grew even more nervous than I already was.

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“W-Wait, what? No, don’t come here, Gibs!” I replied, but he had already hung up and I dropped my arm slowly, putting my phone back into my pocket. “I’m fucked.. I am so fucked..” I said softly in a depressed manner, leaning back on a wall near the front door and sliding down it until I sat on the ground, my knees to my chest and my hands ran over the sides of my face.

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A door opened within the house, assuming it was my bedroom door and I heard soft footsteps approaching me, “Hey.. Are you alright?” My girlfriend wondered, kneeling down next to me and I looked up to her, removing my hands from my face.

“No, no I’m not alright.. Listen, do me a favor.. This guy is going to stop by, but don’t come out of the bedroom, okay? Not until he leaves, do you understand?” I requested and I watched as she nodded with worried eyes.

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“Okay, I won’t..” She replied and I could still feel my heart racing, “Are.. Are you in any danger..?” She asked and I chuckled with a pathetic grin, though it faded almost as fast as it had formed.

“I might be.”

    Gibson’s POV     

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W-What..? Had I.. Had I heard him correctly? Gareth..? Gareth was the one seeing Hannah..? Of course.. How could I be so stupid? Of course it was Gareth! Why the fuck was I so naive this whole time?! Everything just suddenly clicked when I had hung up on Ezra.. The money she had been receiving, it must be the money that Gareth had showed me that he wanted me to take before I moved in with her, the money he’s been letting her take to take care of my family.. The distance she’s been having, she’s been with Gareth physically and he’s been giving her the intimate time that I had wished Hannah and I still shared.. She’s been distant for so long, though.. Have they been together since we first started fighting about me not being home enough when Oliver was born and as he grew up..?

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Oliver was sitting on the floor, playing with Camilla within my office at work, but he’s been looking at me ever since I got off the phone with Ezra. He got to the bookstore after walking home from school around three thirty and he’s been here playing with Camilla until now, which was roughly five twenty in the evening. “Dad, who’s Ezra? ..Who is he watching..?” He asked, but I didn’t know what to tell him, I didn’t think he’d overhear some of the things I had said..

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“..Dad..?” Oliver said softly to get my attention, but I couldn’t bring myself to answer him. I was fuming with rage, what the hell hadn’t Ezra told me? He didn’t tell me any detail at all other than he saw Gareth show up at the bakery. I was still blind, even after all this time and even after hiring Ezra to find out what I couldn’t.. I was still blind..

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“Gather your things, we’re going to Aunt Nina’s..” I demanded, seeing his expression turn worried as I stood from my chair, though he didn’t question my demand and he grabbed his backpack. I went to Camilla and grabbed her from the floor, walking downstairs in a hurry and Oliver shuffled his feet quickly behind me to keep up.

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I noticed Jaime by the registers, but I looked towards Oliver before going to him, “Take your sister to the car and put her in her seat, buckle up, too.. I’ll be out in a minute,” I said calmly as I set down Camilla, though I held no expression other than slight anger, seeing Oliver stare at me for a long moment before nodding and taking Camilla’s hand and he walked her towards the door, “Come on, Millie..” He said with a sad tone.

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“Mr. Dubois, are you leaving early?” Jaime wondered and I walked over to him quickly, pulling him into the corner of the room where no one else could hear our words.

I spoke quietly, “I’m leaving.. I’m dropping off my kids at their Aunt’s place, and.. And I don’t think I’m coming back..” I replied quietly and I watched as his expression fluctuated quickly from happy to a little confused.

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“Oh.. Uhm, Okay..” He replied with a nod, “I can close for you. I’ll take care of everything and I’ll see you on-”

“No, no..” I cut him off, “I’m not coming back.. As in at all. Ever.. I’m quitting. Don’t ask me anything.. Please. Take this however you want it, but.. You’re taking over, okay? I’m giving you my job. Take good care of this place.. Take care of yourself and your family, too, got it?” I questioned and he nodded quickly in understanding, but he still gave me a worried and confused expression and before he could say anything else back to me, I walked away from him and left the bookstore in a rush. I wish I could say I was going to miss this place, but then again, it’s the one place that took over my life and kept me from my family. It’s the reason all of this was happening right now. So, no.. I guess I won’t miss it.. I’d much rather burn this place to the ground, but I didn’t have time.

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“Dad, why are we going to Aunt Nina’s?” Oliver questioned, having already put his sister in the car and I quickly walked around to the driver’s side.

“Just get in the damn car, Ollie,” I demanded and his expression showed fear and slight shock, but he got into the car without another question and I got in as well, driving away from the bookstore quickly and towards Nina and Gareth’s place.

“..Dad.. What’s happening..? Why can’t you tell me anything?” Oliver questioned and I couldn’t hold the rage I held within me.

“Oliver, please.. Just stop asking questions! Okay? I’m dropping you two off and then..” I stopped, gripping the steering wheel tightly in anger before continuing, “Just.. Please, Ollie..” I continued, seeing him give me the same worried expression through the rear-view mirror and still seeing the confusion in his eyes as I continued to drive to Nina’s.

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We got to the parking lot on the dock and I noticed Ezra’s car, knowing he was still home and I got out of the car quickly, rushing to the back-side door and opening it to let Camilla out of her car-seat as Oliver got out of the car on his own. He walked around the car and watched as I rushed to get Camilla out, “Dad.. What’s going on? ..Dad?” He asked and I stopped after shutting Camilla’s passenger door.

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“Oliver.. Stop it, right this second! I’ll explain everything later, I promise,” I confirmed, but I could tell in his expression that he wasn’t okay with just a simple promise of mine, not by how I was acting right now, “Come on,” I encouraged, grabbing his hand and dragging him towards Nina’s place while holding Camilla, trying to block her from the rain as we walked down the dock that I hadn’t walked down in a long, long time..

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I walked into Nina’s house without knocking, something I assumed she would be okay with and once we walked in, I heard her rushing towards the door and she saw us coming inside, “Gibson..? W-What are you doing here..?” She questioned at first and I watched as Camilla ran towards her happily after I had set her down. Nina picked her up and cuddled her for a moment, but looked back to me with worried eyes. “What’s going on?” She asked.

“He won’t tell anyone,” Oliver said angrily and I looked to him and sighed, then looking back up to Nina.

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Katalina came into the room with a smile, “Hey, Ollie! Hi, Uncle Gibs,” she began, but once she noticed all of our troubled expressions, she lost her smile, “What’s going on..?” She asked, but I ignored her. I didn’t have time for this..

“I need to deal with something, I need you to watch Oliver and Camilla, just for a little while.. Please,” I stressed, seeing her expression continue to remain worried, though she nodded to my request.

“Of course, anything you need.. But, why? Is something wrong? Is there anything else I can do?” She asked next.

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I knelt down to Oliver’s height and he continued to give me a troubled and angered face, his eyes tearing up a little due to all of his confusion and worry that he couldn’t contain.. I knew I was scaring him, but I couldn’t bare to see him like this and I needed to leave. “Listen to me, bud.. Don’t worry, okay? Everything is fine.. I just need you to watch over Camilla and your Aunt and cousin for a while, alright? You can do that, can’t you?” I asked, watching as he lowered his eyes to the ground and nodded in response.

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“Y-Yeah.. I can do it..” He replied, though I could barely hear him for how soft he was talking.

“I know you can, because you’re a strong boy. You’ve got Dubois blood in you,” I replied with a smile, but he didn’t return the same smile I gave..

“Where are you going?” He asked next, looking up to me and I sat there a moment, trying to figure out how to answer him, but I couldn’t come up with anything that would do him justice.

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“Stop worrying.. I love you guys. Always remember that, okay?” I asked and I watched his eyes widen, but I quickly stood back up and went for the door.

“But, Dad!” Oliver tried to contest, but I didn’t stop, walking out the front door and walking back down the dock towards Ezra’s house.

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I walked quickly down the dock with heavy steps and when I reached Ezra’s house, I tried to open the door but it was locked. I banged on the glass, “Ezra!” I called out, continuing to bang on the glass and I even wondered if I’d break it for how hard I was hitting it. “Open the damn door, Ezra!” I continued and I noticed him come out of one of the rooms in his house with an uneasy expression and I knew he didn’t like seeing me there, watching him come and unlock the door with shaky hands and I opened it roughly.

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I barged in and he stepped backwards quickly, almost stumbling over his own feet, “You tell me everything that you saw down to the last fucking detail or I swear to God, Ezra, if I think for any reason that you’re keeping something from me-” I threatened and he put his hands up in defense.

“L-Listen, Gibs, you need to just take a few deep breaths and calm down a little, man.. Y-You’re kind of scaring the shit outta me,” he replied but I didn’t care.

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I put my arm to the front of his chest close to his neck and pushed him against the wall roughly, sliding my forearm under his chin and I pressed hard into his throat, “I don’t have time to calm down! Tell me everything you saw this second and if you hesitate, or tell me to calm down again, I’ll paint these bland walls with a new shade of red, do you understand me?” I implied and he nodded quickly with scared eyes, “Now talk!” 

“O-Okay, okay!” He struggled to reply, his voice sounding muffled a little from my arm against his throat, “I was sitting in my car, watching her close up the shop and at about five fifteen, he pulled into the parking lot I was in across the street and he went to her bakery. She unlocked the door for him, they kissed, he gave her a few stacks of money and she put it into the register, they kissed again, and then I got the fuck out of there and called you.. That’s everything, I swear..” He answered with a raspy voice.

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I slowly let go of his throat with my arm and he brought his hand to the front of his neck, coughing softly and taking in more air than he’d normally need so he could catch his breath. I stepped back and away from him a little, my breathing getting heavier, my anger rising, my confusion and denial no longer existing and I could feel my chest constricting. My blood, my own brother, doing this to me for a second time, with my wife.. How could he do this to me..? He knows how much it ruined me the first time, why would he do it again? How could she do this to me, to our children? How could either of them do this to me!?

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“Gibson..? You okay, man? You’re getting all sweaty..” Ezra wondered with caution and I looked up to him.

“Give me a gun,” I demanded.

“G-Gibson, I-I don’t have any g-”

“Don’t even finish that fucking sentence if you want to keep your life, Ezra.. This is literally the one time you cannot lie to me,” I walked back up to him slowly and he stepped back, “I don’t have time for this shit!” I yelled and he stumbled back against the wall. “Do you have one with no serial number? A clean one?” I asked and I watched as he eventually nodded. “Go and get it now, or I’ll drop you right here and find it myself,” I threatened and he nodded quickly again, walking away from me and he went into the room closest to us.

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I began pacing around the room impatiently, “Hurry the fuck up, Ezra,” I warned, hearing him rustling around in his room through his things and he rushed back out within half a minute, handing me an object wrapped in cloth. I ripped the fabric away and a beautiful, black and silver 9mm pistol starred back at me, “No serial number? Your prints aren’t on it? No ones are on it?” I asked sternly and he nodded, confirming to me that it was, indeed, clean, “Loaded?” I asked next and he nodded again.

“Just gotta turn the safety off,” he replied, “There’s one in the chamber and the magazine holds eight, so you got nine all together..” He continued with his tone still sounding worried.

I was never here, got that? You don’t even know my name,” I threatened sternly and he nodded quickly, lifting my shirt in the back and tucking the pistol in my waistband, “Say it back to me, Ezra.”

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Y-You were never here and I don’t know you..” He replied without hesitation and it was good enough for me, but before I could leave, he grabbed my attention again, “Gibs.. Before you go.. I really don’t want you to use it on either of them or even use it at all, and I guess it’s none of my business what you do after you leave and where you and your brother stand in all of this, but.. Just be careful, okay? Gareth is, well.. It might not be easy to do whatever it is you plan on doing with that thing when it comes to him.. Hell, I’d be worried..” He hinted slightly and something told me that he knew just about how dirty Gareth was willing to get his hands.

“Well, I’m not you, Ezra. He’s my brother.. I know exactly who he is..” I replied harshly and Ezra seemed to believe my words, “It’s him that should be worried about me,” I continued, walking away from Ezra and leaving his house to go to the bakery.

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I walked quickly to my car, determination, rage and the feeling of betrayal coursing through my veins and at this time, even though I was weapon ready accompanied with the murderous rage I needed and used as fuel, I was still unsure of what I might do. I was going to confront the woman I loved as well as my brother, the two people that I’ve grown the closest to throughout my entire life, and here they were getting close with each other.. Would I freeze up when I saw them? Cry? Yell? I.. I didn’t know anything.

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I stumbled a little when I reached the driver’s side door, but I caught myself by putting my hands on the car. I starred at my reflection in the window, my head getting light and foggy and my legs shook as they struggled to carry my own weight. My brows began to furrow against my will and my bottom lip began to quiver, leaning into the car more and I hid my face in my arms.. Why? Why did I have to know the truth so badly? The truth hurt so much more than I thought it would and I swear that if the raindrops weren’t so loud as they danced with the thunder, I could hear my own heart beginning to crack. 

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I soon regained whatever composure that was better than sobbing and got into my car, pulling out of the dock parking lot and driving as fast as I could without catching any eyes of the law as I rushed to the bakery. I couldn’t afford to get pulled over and I needed to get there now, looking at my clock in the car and seeing it read five thirty, ten minutes after Ezra had called me. I was surprised by how all of this seemed to take no time, but that’s exactly what I needed and I rushed on purpose. I wanted to catch them in the act. I wanted to see the look on their faces when they saw me waiting for them. Part of me wanted them to suffer. Part of me even wanted to have hope that Ezra was completely wrong and nothing that he had told me had happened, but I was smarter than that.. Than them. I knew to believe it because that’s just who my brother was, he loved to hurt me. He loved being selfish and having no regard for anyone else. Him and I were done, through, finished.. I was just surprised that it took me this long to finally realize it.. This long to finally accept it for what it was, and maybe even always had been.

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I reached the parking lot of the bakery and pulled in, seeing Hannah’s car at the end and I got out, walking towards to deck, but I stopped for a moment, looking to the parking lot that Ezra had said he parked in across the street and I noticed Gareth’s car still parked there, knowing that he was still here as well. Everything was going to work out as I had hoped.. I continued towards the deck and walked up onto it, slowly reaching the bakery door and I checked the knob, feeling that it was locked and I pulled my keys out, finding the spare to the shop and I unlocked the door quietly. I placed the keys back within my pocket and entered the bakery, closing the door silently behind me and locking it once again.

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I was greeted by the overwhelming smell of frosting, sugar, flour, everything that I could imagine that was sweet to the taste and I walked towards the counter, bending down and walking under it to get to the other side and I opened the register, gripping the inside of it and looking under the drawer to see a few neatly laid out, crisp stacks of money, right where Ezra said it’d be. “Hmph..” I let out softly, taking the money from the drawer and stacking them next to the register.

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A loud moan behind a closed door caught my attention and I looked up, standing still as I continued to listen for a few silent seconds for another noise so I could pin point exactly where it was coming from. I could tell from here that they weren’t in her office, her glass door helped prove that, so all that was left was the bathrooms or the back storage room. Assuming they didn’t want to fuck somewhere that could potentially be dirty, I looked towards the storage room door and once I heard one, two, three more moans from my beloved, I knew then that I had assumed correctly. There it was, all the proof I needed either laid out on the counter in front of me or the voice I knew behind the door. 

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I grabbed the stacks of money and I carried them with me towards a table within the dining area, setting them down nicely stacked and I pulled out a chair from the same table, taking a seat and letting out a heavy sigh. I continued to listen to my wife, my eyes locked on the storage room door and I could tell just by the pitch of her voice and the way she moaned that she was enjoying every second of what she was getting from my brother. I knew every inch of her, heard every tone she used, every cry she let out, whether good or bad.. I knew her down to the very last detail, and I began to wonder if Gareth did now, too. But, I waited for them.. I couldn’t bare walking in and seeing it happening..

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A crack of thunder roared over the sky outside and a flash of lightning illuminated the dark bakery for a split second, my ears then being filled with both a calm, soothing rain hitting the roof, as well as my wife’s sensual, pleasured voice and ultimately I would be happy to hear both, reminding myself of a few times we had made love during storms like this and they were times that were nothing short of blissful. But, those days were long gone now.. The days I actually felt the happiness radiating off of her, the days when she would look into my eyes and tell me she loved me, the days we spent together simply enjoying one another’s presence without needing to use any words.. All of that was over now. 

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I waited for roughly ten agonizing minutes, my expression, blank.. My mind.. Blank.. When finally, I noticed I hadn’t heard anything coming from the storage room for about half a minute and I assumed they were done. Getting dressed, perhaps. For as an intense moment such as this, I was a lot calmer than I thought I’d be. There was a.. A sense of euphoria filling me and the corner of my mouth twitched into a slight smirk. I was.. I was excited.. The build up to this very moment ever since Ezra had called me was killing me inside, and yet, as I sat here, waiting to see the face of my wife, of my brother, I couldn’t help but feel eager. 

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I heard the doorknob being touched from the inside of the storage room and the door finally opened, my eyes looking up to see Hannah smiling in Gareth’s arms and they were looking at one another with a sense of happiness. I was a little jealous of that.

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The first to make eye contact with me was Hannah, watching as her happiness drained quickly from her face and she gasped softly, stopping in her tracks and Gareth looked to her with slight confusion, but once he looked and noticed what had startled her, or rather, who, his face quickly drained of any bliss, just as quickly as hers had. They stood there frozen for a few moments, not saying a word as they both stared at me, and I stared at them.

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I’m sorry..” I began blandly, “Did I interrupt something?”

Generation 3, Chapter 19

Attention: NSFW, violence.

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    Gibson’s POV     

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There’s this twisting in my gut that hurts whenever I think about it. I know it now.. It’s a fact in my mind that I can’t escape, it had to be.. Hannah had to be cheating on me, or else none of what’s been happening would’ve occurred. I’ve realized that her income from the bakery doesn’t add up to what is usually is, or should be.. When it would normally add up to a cent amount, lately it would come out to a perfect flat sum and it made me think she was getting paid but not giving change..? It even seemed as if she was being given money outright instead of earning it from the bakery.. It’s been a few years since the Easter Festival and I’ve been watching our money flow a lot more than I had. When I had noticed that we were getting more money than I thought we were supposed to be getting, I did my own investigating and the money she had been getting goes back even since before the Easter festival.. How could I have not noticed back then?

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But.. What does this all mean? Was she really cheating on me..? For how much she seemed to be bringing in, it almost made me think she was doing something for this money and she didn’t want me to know, going behind my back and trying to add it into her monthly deposit in hopes of me never finding out.. And there was no evidence of this money disappearing from our account to pay it back, it never balanced out and we were always in the positive now, so she hadn’t taken out a loan without me knowing.. What was she doing to get this money? Who was giving it to her?

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I sat at my desk in the bedroom before work, looking at our bank account and my mind was going crazy trying to figure out any other explanation I could think of for where this money was coming from.. Is this why she’s been so distant with me? We’ve been intimate like any other married couple, but when I thought about it more, the times that I would get her into the mood was changing, and I’d be left with Hannah trying to sleep afterward instead of cuddling or talking to me like we usually once did. She was distant, too distant. I was convinced that she was getting something from someone else and it’s been bothering me to the point where I’d get mad about nothing in front of her and it would explode into this huge ordeal that never needed to happen and I would never come out with what I was truly thinking.. She was hiding something and trying to make me feel like the bad guy in those situations, diverting the attention from herself onto either me or the kids.

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Hannah had gotten pregnant a little after the spring festival and she had given birth to our little girl, Camilla.. But, as bad as I felt for thinking this, I couldn’t help but feel that she wasn’t mine. No matter how many times I looked into her eyes, it still didn’t sit right with me.. None of it. Camilla was so innocent and I hated the way I looked at her, I know I should show her unconditional love like I do for Oliver, but.. I.. I just couldn’t.. Yet another reason for Hannah and I to grow apart because she felt as if I preferred Oliver over Camilla.. But, that’s exactly how I felt.. Hannah wasn’t wrong in that one aspect. I still played with her, let her sleep in my arms, fed her and made silly faces to make her laugh, but my heart just wasn’t there.

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Camilla reminded me of my grandfather that I remembered seeing in pictures, her hair and eyes just as brown as his, but then again, they also might not be my genes at all if she truly isn’t mine like I thought she wasn’t.. She was a very friendly little girl, though she hated being outside because it was so hot here in this climate.. She much more preferred the cold. She was beautiful and I had always dreamed of having a little girl now that Hannah and I had a boy, but every time Camilla looked at me and smiled, it was hard to return the same expression..

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Oliver loved Camilla and I liked how inseparable they were, he was already great at being an older brother and I could already tell that Camilla idolized him. I remember imagining to myself that if I had a little girl, I would adore her and she’d adore me.. She’d be sad to see me leave and excited to see me when I got home, and that’s exactly what Camilla did, yet I was less excited than I thought I’d be whenever I got home and she was waiting for me. 

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Before I left for work, I left my bedroom and got Camilla dressed and ready for the day, seeing Oliver still in his bed, though he was sitting up and awake, watching me dress Camilla, “Come on, bud.. Time to go to school, get dressed,” I said softly, smiling his way before looking to Camilla and adjusting the outfit I chose for her so it would fit nicely. Oliver finally got up and went out of the room, going to brush his teeth and fix his hair and he came back into the room minutes later.

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“Why doesn’t Millie have to go?” He complained quietly and I chuckled.

“Because, she’s still too young.. Her vocabulary still consists of about ten words.. She’ll be going in a few years though,” I replied.

“Is she going to go to an all-girls school like I’m going to an all-boys?” He wondered, getting out his uniform from the dresser for school.

“Yeah, making sure you two go to good schools and get good educations are our top priority. The private schools you go to are the best to be in around here, you’ll get used to it,” I preached, fixing Camilla’s hair after putting her dress on.

“I don’t like my school, it’s really small,” he complained, getting dressed into his uniform as I continued to fix Camilla’s hair and waiting for Oliver to be ready.

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“Well, have you made any friends yet?” I asked, not hearing Ollie answer me and I looked towards him, “Oliver?”

“..No,” he replied quietly, “I get made fun of a lot,” he replied even quieter and I let go of his sister so she could go and play, seeing him look up to me with sad eyes.

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I walked over to him and knelt down to his level, putting my hands on his arms and turning him towards me, “What do they say to you?” I asked sternly, getting a little angered at how anyone could find even one flaw about him.

“They make fun of my backpack because of the color, they think it’s for girls and they call me princess a lot,” he replied softly, averting his eyes elsewhere and I sighed as I looked to his backpack, then back to him.

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“Why don’t you get a different one then?”

“But it’s my favorite color! Mom and I searched for backpacks for a long time and I finally found this one that I liked,” he answered.

“Well, then just ignore them, they only do that because they’re jealous of it. I bet they didn’t get the ones they chose and they’re jealous that you got exactly what you wanted,” I replied, putting my hand to the side of his face and making him look at me, “It’s just who you are.. Don’t let them get to you, getting upset by it only fuels those little monsters to keep doing it. If you don’t let it bother you and you ignore them, they’ll stop.. Trust me,” I replied with a smirk, seeing him nod to my words and I stood up, walking back over to Camilla and picking her up, “Come on, let’s get you two some breakfast.”

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I walked out of the kids room holding Camilla and Oliver walked next to me, “Did you ever go through stuff like this when you were in school?” He wondered and I smiled while chuckling.

“Of course, no one goes through their school career without getting made fun of at least once. People are always going to find something they don’t like and exploit it.. I used to get made fun of for getting excellent grades, but I got over it by realizing that I was just better than everyone else, and since I was, they took the best thing about me and made fun of it.. The word nerd was said a lot I recall,” I replied and Oliver laughed softly.

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“Well, I don’t think you’re a nerd, Dad. I’m gunna be as smart as you one day,” he said happily and I looked down to him with a smirk.

“No, you’ll be way smarter. You probably already are since you got to go to such a good school at your age. I would’ve done anything to convince my Dad to let me go to a school like you are had I ever known about them,” I replied, stopping by the door and watching Oliver set his backpack down by the door and he then walked with me towards the kitchen where Hannah was.

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“Wait, did you ever go to college?” He asked and I shook my head.

“No, even though I very well could’ve. Some family issues happened around my Senior year of High School and I got distracted, way too distracted by it and I ended up almost failing my last year, which resulted in me losing all the scholarships I thought I was going to get,” I replied, seeing him show remorse in his eyes as if he felt bad for me but I chuckled softly as I put Camilla into her high chair, “Don’t worry about it.. Had I went to college, I would’ve never met your mother, and you wouldn’t be here. I’m very glad I never went just for that one reason,” I added, seeing him smile and he laughed as I tousled the hair on his head.

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“What do you want for breakfast, sweetheart?” Hannah wondered towards Oliver as he climbed into a bar stool to watch her cook for him.

“Hmm.. An omelet? With.. Bacon, cheese, mushrooms, annndddd.. Green peppers?” He wondered and she smiled with an accompanied giggle.

“Omelet it is,” she replied happily.

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Hannah looked over to me with a blank expression as I sat in the stool next to Ollie, “I thought you would’ve left for work by now..?” She wondered, looking away from me then and preparing Ollie’s breakfast. I scowled just slightly towards her without Oliver noticing and I then let out a sarcastic chuckle, though I was the only one who knew it was sarcastic.

“I know you’re eager to get rid of me, but I let Jaime open this morning because Ollie wanted me to drive him to school,” I replied, looking to Ollie and patting his back as he smiled towards me. 

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“Gibson, don’t imply such things, it’s ridiculous.”

Is it?” I asked and she looked to me for a few long seconds, then went back to making Oliver’s breakfast, ignoring me and I chuckled softly. She hated spending even a few minutes with me and she made me feel unproductive since I wasn’t already at work, but I tried to ignore my urge to be at my job as I looked at Ollie, glad that he had wanted me to drive him to school.

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“Can you take Millie today?” Hannah wondered as she finished up Oliver’s breakfast and placed it before him. 

“Why can’t you take her?” I asked in return.

“It’s Friday, Gibson, you know I get swamped at the bakery at the end of the week,” she pointed out and I sighed, looking over to Camilla in her high chair then back to Hannah, nodding softly.

“Yeah.. I can take her,” I reluctantly agreed and she walked away from me without so much as a smile to my response and she began cleaning up the kitchen.

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“Can I come with? Pleaaasseee?” Oliver whined and I shook my head.

“Nope, you gotta go to school and face those guys, and you’re not missing any school unless you’re sick, you know that,” I replied and he sighed heavily.

“Fiiiiiine..” Oliver reluctantly replied.

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“What do you mean ‘face those guys’? Are you being bullied, Ollie?” Hannah wondered with concern and we both got off the bar stools to get ready to leave.

“No, he’s doing just fine. I’ve got it covered already,” I reply, watching as Hannah looked to me as if she was offended that she wasn’t involved in this situation.

“Is that right? Because I thought I asked Oliver a question,” she replied with slight attitude and I scoffed quietly.

“Well, Ollie? Your mother asked you something.. Answer her.”

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“It’s okay, Mom.. I can handle it, don’t worry,” he replied with a smile her way and Hannah crossed her arms over her chest. “I’ll be outside by the car, Dad.. Bye, Mom! Love you!” He called out as he grabbed his backpack by the door.

“Love you, baby,” she called back to him and he went outside to wait for me.

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I went to Camilla and picked her up out of her high chair, about to walk towards the door to go outside with Oliver, but I caught Hannah staring at me with her arms still crossed over her chest, still waiting for an explanation, “What..? He probably didn’t want to tell you because no boy wants to look weak in front of a girl. He was just getting made fun of because the kids don’t like the color of his backpack, that’s all.. Like he said already, he can handle it, so stop worrying so much.. It’s not like he’s getting beat up,” I said with little patience.

“And what happens when he does get beat up? What did you say to him when he told you all of this?” She asked as if anything I said to him was going to be the wrong teachings, as if I couldn’t handle my son having bullies.

“You say that as if it’s a sure thing that’s going to happen.. I just said he’s fine the way he is, those kids are just jealous of him and he needs to ignore them because it doesn’t matter what they say,” I replied sternly, “Was that not the right thing to say? Should I have told him to beat the hell out of them? Make them eat dirt?” I asked sarcastically.

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“No, of course not, Gibson..” She replied angrily, shaking her head towards me as if I was the only one being difficult right now.

“Oh, well then it does look like I had it under control, huh?” I asked and she turned away from me, not replying and I scoffed, “See you at dinner..” I ended the conversation abruptly with anger and I left, bringing Millie with me and getting in the car with Oliver to take him to school.

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“Is Mom mad?” Oliver asked in the car as I drove him to school and I looked to him through the rear-view mirror.

“No, not at you.. You did nothing wrong, okay?” I said, seeing him look to me through the mirror and he nodded.

“Then was she mad at you?”

“No..” I lied, not wanting him to ever figure out that Hannah and I weren’t doing well lately, “She’s just worried about you and she doesn’t want her son being bullied, that’s all.. No parent wants their child to be tormented for being themselves,” I replied, seeing him nod in understanding and I smirked. “It’ll be okay, bud.. If you can get through today when dealing with those guys, you can get through anything,” I continued, then my voice got a little quieter.. “Don’t tell your mother I told you this, but if those guys ever want to hurt you, or beat you up or anything like that.. Don’t be afraid to defend yourself. Don’t by any means throw the first punch, but if they do, don’t run away, you hear me? Always stand up for yourself,” I finished, seeing him smirk and nod in acknowledgment towards me in the mirror and I smiled as well.

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“Did you ever get beat up?” He wondered and I thought for a moment, though it wasn’t that pleasant of a memory and I didn’t want to share it with him, but I decided to anyways.. He needed more information, and it was a little obvious he was nervous about the subject of violence.

“Yeah, I was maybe a little older than you are now.. It was winter and you’re Uncle Gareth was out sick one day, but I still had to go to school. My brother and I always stood by one another and watched out for each other, so no one would usually mess with us if we were together.. But separated? That’s usually when we got picked on a lot more. The day he was sick and I still came to school, there was one kid in particular that hated our family for whatever reason, pushing me up against a locker and he even took my glasses and threw them down the hallway.. Shoved me down to the floor, told me to lick the bottom of his shoes but I refused, so he kicked me in the stomach a few times for not doing it.. Then told me some nasty things and left,” I replied, seeing the worry in Oliver’s eyes through the rear-view mirror. “It was the same boy, too, that beat up your Aunt Bahiti a day later, shoving her face in the snow and giving her a bloody nose.”

“..What happened later, when Uncle Gareth came back to school? Did he defend you guys, or did you two get him back?” He wondered and I shook my head.

“Nah.. I can’t tell you what we did.. I don’t want to give you any ideas.. Let’s just say he never bothered us again,” I replied, watching the road and unable to forget how that day had ended..

_________________________________________

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I.. I remember.. I remember the sky being dark that day after school, as if the world knew what my brother and I were planning and it set the perfect ambiance. After our target had beat me up in the hallway, and about two weeks after he white washed Bahiti in the snow, resulting in her coming home with a bloody nose, Gareth and I scoped out our bully for a few days..

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We watched, waited, planned.. He usually walked home by himself, he took the route that was behind the school passed the baseball diamond, alone, the perfect time to strike. It was our duty, our right, our will to take him down, especially for what he had done to our little sister.. He only brought this upon himself.

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Gareth and I took that route home one day, waiting within the dugout of the baseball field, waiting to see him walking home alone like he usually did, and eventually, we saw him. We waited until about four thirty, the time around when the ones that were stupid enough to get caught got out of detention and he walked through the baseball diamond as both of us watched him carefully. “That’s him, right?” Gareth wondered, wanting me to make confirmation before we made any moves and I nodded even though Gareth wasn’t looking at me.

“Yeah.. That’s definitely him..” I confirmed.

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Without any more words, I watched as Gareth rose from the bench and grabbed a baseball bat, holding it up and inspecting it carefully, blissfully.. “I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time.. You ready?” He asked, seeing him look to me and I nodded.

“More than ready,” I answered, seeing him smile and he looked towards the boy, still venturing through the baseball diamond.

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I stood up slowly, following Gareth out of the dugout and we walked to the pitchers mound, stopping behind Gareth and I watched as he lifted his arms, smelling the air loudly and letting out a loud, pleasureful sigh. “Well, it sure is a lovely day out, isn’t it, Gibs?” He announced loudly, both of us watching as the boy stopped and looked back at us.

I took in the same breath of winter air that Gareth had and smiled, looking towards the boy and I nodded, “Beautiful..” I confirmed towards Gareth. “What do you think?” I asked towards our bully, seeing his expression unwavering as we both starred at him.

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“What are you two idiots doing here? You two just can’t get enough of my fist in your face, can ya?” He taunted and I looked towards Gareth, seeing him tap the end of the bat against the white snow in a calm manner.

“Come on, Henry.. You know why we’re here, don’t tell me you’re that stupid,” he taunted back, seeing Henry grow angered and he began walking back across the baseball diamond towards us.

“I don’t care that you two are together, it just makes it easier to beat the shit out of you two at the same time rather than apart,” he replied and I heard Gareth laugh.

“Funny.. Because I don’t care that you’re alone. I actually love that you are, because unlike you, I’ll never be that pathetic.. No one to have your back.. No one to help you win fights.. Well, this is going to be one fight that you don’t walk away from. You’re going to pay for what you did to us.. To our sister.. Right now, actually. I know from beating up others, you might’ve gotten some blow-back, some of their blood on your face or in your mouth.. But, have you ever tasted your own?” He asked and I grew a little nervous, looking towards Henry and I watched as he smiled, still approaching us.

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“You two think you’re soooo tough..” He replied and Gareth laughed again.

“No, we just know that you’re weak right now. Vulnerable. ..Deserving. In need of a little wake up call. Don’t you agree?” I heard Gareth ask with a voice I was beginning to become unfamiliar with. He was turning into such a collected, calm person as he stood there and taunted Henry, and even though he was standing right in front of me, it was hard to tell if it was the Gareth I knew. I always knew us to be different, and so did he, but he embraced the side of us that we couldn’t control, whereas I questioned it, though I enjoyed watching it unravel through Gareth. 

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“Wanna play baseball, Henry?” I heard Gareth question and my heart began to beat a little faster, knowing that Gareth was growing impatient and his need to let everything out was growing. There was no stopping this now. I needed to regain my composure and be Gareth’s backup, taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly.

“No, I don’t want to play, Gareth.. What are you, stupid? There’s snow on the ground, plus, why the hell would I wanna play with you idiots?” Henry asked angrily in return and I began to get irritated by his constant insults. 

“Does anyone else want to play, Gibson?” Gareth asked and I knew what he was implying, turning my head all around and not seeing anyone in sight.

“Not a soul,” I confirmed for him.

“Well, looks like it’s just the three of us then..” Gareth continued and it was silent for a few long seconds. I could hear my heart beating hard under my winter coat with the anticipation of when the fight would start, watching Gareth’s every move and waiting for this to begin..

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Henry got mad and came at Gareth suddenly, but Gareth was more than ready.. He gripped the bat tightly within a split second and swung it upward as hard as he could and I flinched at the sound of the bat connecting with Henry’s nose, knowing instantly he had shattered it and I stood there stunned, unable to move as I watched everything finally begin to unveil.. Henry fell back into the snow and I watched as he rolled back and forth slightly, physically unable to call for help, or even cry, though he managed to let out some eerie moans of pain. Blood poured out of his nose, falling down his face, his neck, into his mouth.. I could even hear him beginning to gurgle from the blood filling his throat as he struggled to breath and I thought he was going to die from drowning, but before we gave him that luxury, Gareth gripped the handle of the bat again, “How does it taste, Henry?” He asked, then swinging the bat down as hard as he could on Henry’s head and his body jerked a little at the sudden force.

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I watched as Henry’s fingers began to twitch inside his gloves and I knew he wasn’t dead yet, looking to Gareth then and I noticed him breathing heavily as if he had just ran around the track to do The Mile in gym class, his expression filled with nothing but delight and he looked over towards me with droplets of blood speckling his face. “He’s not dead yet, is he?” Gareth asked and I slowly shook my head ‘no’, hearing Gareth chuckle softly then and he looked back to Henry, “Good..” He continued, watching Gareth then grip the bat again and he began swinging it down onto Henry’s head, over and over and I watched as more and more blood sprayed across the surface of the snow as well as on Gareth with every swing of his bat, painting the white backdrop with nothing but red.

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I couldn’t describe the amount of excitement as well as fear that I felt coursing through me, the smell of the blood alone gave me a slight thrill and I watched as Gareth continued his barrage of hits among Henry’s head. I continued to stare, unable to blink in fear that I would miss something exciting and every hit made a blunt sound on impact, though when it continued more and more, the sound seemed to dissipate and I knew he wasn’t quite hitting only the hard surface of his skull anymore.

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I flinched at Gareth’s last hit, a droplet of blood hitting my cheek and I snapped out of my trance. I reached up slowly, wiping it off with my middle fingertip and I looked at my hand,  seeing a tiny, smeared trace of blood on my skin and I bent down to grab some snow, heating it up in my hands and I wiped away the red trace on my fingertip. This was it, this was our first time, our first victim, our first kill. Even though I had done nothing and Gareth did all the work, it just seemed like the right thing to do, to let him unleash his anger as I got solace from simply watching everything being taken care of right before my eyes. 

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I looked up towards Gareth, seeing him already looking at me, still breathing heavily and he let out a soft laugh, “The look on your face is priceless,” he said with a grin, then I watched as he looked up towards the sky, “How do you feel? Do you feel better now?” He asked, watching as he looked back to me and I starred at him for a few long moments before answering.

“..I don’t know exactly.. H-How do you feel?” I asked in return, looking down at the still body of Henry, then back up to Gareth. 

“I feel..” Gareth began, taking in a large breath of air and letting out, as if he was alive for the first time, “I feel excited.. New.. Like something’s been lifted from me that I’ve needed to get rid of my whole life. Do you feel that, too?” He asked, looking back to me and I slowly nodded, unable to disagree with him. 

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“What do we do about him?” Gareth asked, thinking to myself for a moment and I looked around, noticing an area just outside of the field with trees and bushes. 

“Over there, we’ll just drag him over there, mess up the snow, bury him and all of this left behind.. No one will find it until the snow melts,” I replied, seeing Gareth look to the area I mentioned and then back to me, seeing him keep his grin, “We should get home soon, too, before Dad does.. You need to clean up and wipe off all of the blood.. We should throw out that hoodie, too,” I continued and he looked down at himself, seeing the blood sprayed over his hoodie and he nodded in agreement as he looked back up to me.

“Damn.. I really liked this hoodie.. Next time, I’ll let you have all the fun, how’s that sound?” He asked. Next time? There’s going to be a next time..? 

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Sounds excellent,” I replied with a grin of my own.

_________________________________________

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I dropped off Oliver at school and wished him luck, driving to work afterwards and I walked in the store with Camilla in my arms. Jaime noticed us as he was stocking the bookshelves, smiling towards us and I was pleased that the store was doing well without me. I had made Jaime the Assistant Manager like I had planned and he was proving to be quite a good worker when it came to running the store whenever I couldn’t. “Hey, would you mind?” I asked, offering him Camilla and he smiled.

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“Not at all! Hey, Millie,” he said happily, taking her from me and I walked upstairs to my office as Jaime followed.

“Did Belle have the baby yet?” I asked, unlocking my office door and going in to get settled.

“Nope, not yet.. It should be any day now, though,” he replied happily and I smirked.

“It’s going to be difficult running the place without you for a few months,” I said with a chuckle and he smiled, setting down Camilla so she could play with her toys.

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“Oh, I’m sure you’ll manage.. You did it well even before I became assistant manager, you don’t need me to keep this place afloat,” he replied and I nodded appreciatively, “I wanted to thank you for giving me maternity leave, too, whenever Belle has the baby.. It means a lot,” he continued and I brushed him off.

“No need for thanks, you should be with your wife and newborn whenever that day arrives.. I feel like my wife is still punishing me for not being there for Oliver every second of the damn day when he was born, I’d hate for that to happen to you,” I said with a chuckle as I sat at my desk and he snickered softly.

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“Is that why you’ve been bringing them to work with you more? Well, not anymore for Oliver because he’s in school, but you’ve been bringing Camilla here ever since she was born. Is this your way of kinda ‘making up for lost time’ or something? Trying harder the second time around?” He questioned and I looked to him for a moment. I couldn’t tell him the real reason, that I believe the only reason the kids have been coming to my work with me was so that my wife could stay later at the bakery to get money and get fucked by someone other than myself and I had no idea who it was. The very thought of it twisted my stomach and I cleared my throat before answering him.

“Yeah.. Exactly,” I lied, giving a fake smile, “Well, I need to get some work done, let me know if anything goes wrong downstairs, otherwise I’d like to be left alone,” I continued and I watched as he lost his smile.

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“Sure thing.. Want me to take Millie for a little while? Give you some time to yourself?” He asked, thinking to myself for a moment before finally nodding.

“Actually.. Yeah, if you don’t mind.. Millie, you wanna go with Jaime for a little while?” I asked and she smiled shyly, something she did all the time around Jaime and I chuckled, “Thanks,” I said towards Jaime and he nodded.

“Not a problem at all,” he replied, excited to spend time with Camilla and I watched as he took her, leaving my office and shutting the door behind them.

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I sat at my desk in silence, starring at the keyboard as I spaced out, letting my thoughts take over and dwelling within my own mind. I began wishing that I was back at Jaime’s age once more, wanting to relive the past six years of my life and wishing I had done things so much more different. I couldn’t help but feel responsible for the debt, for the lack of luster in Hannah and I’s marriage, for the reason she could be sleeping with someone else.. Part of me didn’t want to know, it wanted nothing to do with the thought of Hannah being unfaithful, but a large part of me, the one that I couldn’t ignore, wanted to know so badly to the point I wanted to rip it out of her and figure out the truth. 

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I wanted to find out everything, I wanted to know if she was cheating, and I especially wanted to know for how long. If it turns out to be true, I had no idea what I was going to do.. Why does this keep happening to me? It’s as if no matter how hard I try, I can’t keep someone all to myself, I always find a way to screw things up or I find someone I think is the one and they turn out to be someone completely different in the end and I realize it far too late.

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I couldn’t help it, I needed to call someone.. But not just anyone. I wasn’t going to call my brother, he wouldn’t even bother to listen to my drama and I couldn’t call Nina because the conversation would just end up on her involving Gareth.. I couldn’t call Bennu because I was too prideful to let someone within the family know that something like this was happening and I couldn’t call Bahiti, either, for the same reason.. Was I alone in this predicament like almost every other aspect of my life?

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Wait.. There was one person.. One person I could call for this type of thing, and it wasn’t to vent.. I stood up, pacing around the room as I looked through my phone and I came across the name ‘Ezra’, an old friend of Gareth and I. I knew he dealt with personal affairs, but I wondered if he did any investigatory work as far as tailing people..? His name echoed in my ears as I looked at his name in my contacts. I knew Gareth, him and I used to be close friends when we had first moved to Lucky Palms, but I wondered if he was still in that line of work, and I wondered if he could help me..

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I pressed the send button and the phone rang on the other line about five times before he answered, “Gibson, holy shit.. I haven’t heard from you in so long! How have you been, man?” He answered wholeheartedly and I smirked, liking that he had actually made it a point to keep my number just in case I ever called.

“I’m doing alright.. How about yourself?” I asked.

“Good, good.. Wow, it’s good to hear your voice, even if you sound just like your brother.. Ha ha! There’s still subtle differences that I always notice, though.. Oh, hey! I heard you got married a few years ago! Congrats!” He replied and I lost my smirk, though he couldn’t tell obviously.

“Yeah.. I did, thanks.. I had two kids, too.. A boy and a girl,” I replied and he laughed joyfully.

“Ahhhh the married life.. Such a beautiful thing,” he replied, though I couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic.

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“Hey, so.. I know you used to deal with personal matters and I actually called to see if you still did that kind of thing?” I wondered.

“Oh, well.. I, uhh, don’t really like to discuss that kind of thing over the phone.. Is there anywhere we could meet?” He asked and I thought for a moment.

“Well, I’d like to talk about it soon, but I’m at work until about seven or eight..”

“Can I stop by there or is that out of the question?” He wondered and I thought for another moment..

“..I guess you could come by here, but you can’t stay long, my daughter is here.. We can talk alone in my office,” I replied.

“Great, where do you work?” He asked and I told him the I still worked at the same bookstore that I had been since we moved here.

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Within the hour, Ezra got to my work and he knocked on my glass door, smirking when I saw him and he came in when I had stood up from my desk to go greet him. “Hey, man! Long time, no see,” he began and I chuckled as we hugged briefly. “Saw your little girl downstairs with someone who worked here, she’s a real beauty.”

“Thank you.. It’s good seeing you again, Ezra. Please, take a seat,” I offered and he accepted, sitting down comfortably on the sofa and I pulled the chair out from my desk to sit in and face him.

“So, what kind of services do you require exactly, my friend?” He began right away.

“Well, I was wondering if you, uhm.. I just need you to find out some information for me,” I replied, my expression turning serious.

“Oh? That’s not like you, Gibs.. Usually you’re smarter than me when it comes to this sort of thing,” he said with another laugh.

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“Yeah, well.. I think I need some help, if you’re willing..? I can’t do it myself because I got work to worry about and I don’t have the time.. I’ll pay you, of course,” I replied.

“No, don’t even bother.. I’d be happy to do a favor for an old friend.. What do you need, my man?” He asked, giving me his full attention.

“Well.. Uhm..” I struggled, my heart beating faster and I was even a little ashamed that I was seeking help for this kind of thing. It was demeaning and I couldn’t help but feel like I’d be looked at differently, like Hannah possibly being unfaithful was my fault and I didn’t want to be looked at as if I was the screw up with all of this..

“Come on, I’ve heard the most ridiculous shit for me to do, so anything you say I’m sure I can handle,” he replied with a laugh and I sighed heavily.

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“..I, uhm.. I kind of want you to- To Keep an eye on my wife, I think she’s been.. Seeing someone,” I finally spat out and I could feel his demeanor changing.

Oooohh.. Uhhh.. Well, I guess my congratulations earlier was a little.. Pre-mature?” He said reluctantly and I sighed once more, “But, since you’re calling for those kinds of services, I’m sorry to hear that, man.. It always sucks to be forced to think that someone is doing that kind of shit with someone else,” he said sadly.

“Yeah, whatever.. Just, I need you to follow my wife.. Let’s say.. One week. Even though you said it’s free, I’m still willing to pay for you to do this for a whole week.. It’s just.. Something that I need to know and get passed.. I want to know if she’s seeing someone else or if there’s some other reason she’s been so distant,” I reply.

“I’d be glad to do it for an old friend. Still, no charge” he added and I smirked.

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“Thanks, man.. I really appreciate it..”

“Not a problem.. So what’s the details? Tell me everything. Where she works, for how long, who she works with, when she’s supposed to be home.. Tell me everything, if you can.. Every little bit helps when I’m looking for results,” he replied, “Wait, lemme get a pen and paper,” he requested and I gave him what he needed, “Alright, go ahead.”

“Well..” I began, telling him the days she works, what her normal hours were, when she was usually home, everything.. Everything that I could possibly think of, even if it seemed like useless information. “I want you to follow her for a week, 24/7 if you can.. Or, at least from when she wakes up and leaves for work to when she gets home, that’s all..”

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“Yeah, I can do that, no problem. It’s Friday now, should I start Monday then?” He asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, that sounds good. And, if you can, please call me after you’re done watching her every day.. Just call me whenever she leaves her bakery to come home and tell me if you notice anything weird that I haven’t told you in this conversation,” I requested.

“Again, not a problem, my man.. Whatever you want, goes,” he replied, smiling towards me and I smirked as well, glad that I had someone like him I could count on and get an outside opinion on all of this. I needed to know if I was just being crazy or if all of this was my gut telling me my assumptions about my wife were right.

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“Thanks.. I hate to get in contact with you for such things since I haven’t seen you in a while, I wish I had called you for better reasons, but.. I guess I’m desperate, I’m just glad you can help,” I answered.

“My pleasure to help out an old friend. Well, I guess it’s not really a ‘pleasure’ given the situation, but.. Uhh..” He answered unsteadily and I chuckled with remorse.

“I get it, Ezra.. But, anyways.. Thanks,” I answered, beginning to lose my patience.

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“Sorry,” he said with a nervous chuckle, ripping out the piece of paper from the notepad he had used and tucking it into his front pocket, then standing up to leave and I rose from my chair as well. I shook his hand, “I’ll call you Monday when my first day is over,” he continued and I nodded.

“Sounds good, talk to you soon,” I replied and he nodded in return, walking towards the door and out of my office. 

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Was it wrong, spying on my wife like this? Sending someone to follow her, watch her? The thought of me not doing it myself irked me a little.. I knew I could trust Ezra, he’s good at whatever he does even though I’m still unaware of where he draws the line when it comes to certain jobs. I had always wondered if he did more than just follow people, find missing persons.. I wondered if he’s ever spilled blood before and what he felt if he had. Would he have felt as exhilarated as Gareth and I did when we had dealt with Henry? Did he get a rush out of it, or was it just for the money?  Either way I chose to look at it, I was glad that he was where I couldn’t be to find out the truth, I knew I could trust him to get all the information I needed to see if this relationship I had with Hannah was about to take a turn for the better, or a turn for the worse.

Generation 3, Chapter 18

     Gibson’s POV     

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I was lucky that today was a slow day for me here at the bookstore, not many customers have come in since the Easter Festival began today and a lot of the employees have either gone home or left early to enjoy the festival. It was about four in the afternoon and I sat in my office, doing some inventory, paperwork and filling out the last of my orders that I needed to place before the end of the day so new product would arrive on time for Monday morning. It was Friday, about five months after Hannah and I had our housewarming party and we were doing well in my opinion. Sure, I still wasn’t home as often as I would like, but Hannah’s suddenly become more understanding about it, and she doesn’t mind so much when I need to stay late. I don’t know what changed her mind since we fought for about a week straight after the night we had a fight when my family was over, but I was grateful that she’s been more on-board with me working so much to get all of this debt out of the way. 

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Our debt has been dwindling faster than I thought, Hannah’s been making more money at the bakery and I guess people around town have really taken a liking to what she can create. She’s been catering desserts for weddings, birthdays, baby showers and anniversary parties a lot more and has been staying open a little later, so we sometimes get home at the same time. I was actually pretty impressed with her and how hard she seemed to be working to make her business bloom. Every now and then when she works one of her catering jobs, I need to bring Oliver with me to the bookstore and watch him since she’d be way too busy to keep an eye on him. I don’t mind that much, he’s a very well behaved boy and I always enjoy our time together. Ever since Hannah made it clear that Oliver barely knows anything about me since I’d been so absent, I tried to fix that situation and the relationship with my son has gotten a lot better since I had been bringing him to my work sometimes. I suppose everything wasn’t so bad anymore, even though I still don’t spend much time with Hannah, I’ve been getting more time with Oliver and that makes me a lot happier than I have been. 

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Apparently Gareth and Nina have been at the rockiest point so far in their relationship, Nina and Kat have been staying at our place every now and then whenever Gareth and her get into big fights where Nina doesn’t want her and Kat to be around him. I don’t mind having them over, Kat and Oliver have always been close, so at least he has someone to play with a lot more now besides us grown-up’s.. He needs someone his age to be around and I think he’s been a lot happier lately, too. Hannah doesn’t seem to care for Nina very much, but I convinced her to let Nina help her with her catering jobs so Nina can get her mind off of Gareth, and also because Hannah doesn’t have enough help at the bakery. Hannah, Nina and Kat are working a dessert booth at the festival right now to promote the bakery and whenever I get done with my work, which I can guess I’ll be done around five or six, Oliver and I will meet up with them at the festival. I wondered if Gareth would show up, but I didn’t expect him to, not unless there was a free bottomless bar.

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I heard a few quiet groans coming from Oliver on the couch he was sleeping on and I looked over towards him, seeing him stir a little in his sleep and a smirk ran across my lips. My office was as silence as could be, and it needed to be in order to get Ollie to take a nap. Him being a light sleeper was rather troublesome on occasion, but at seldom times like these where I got to put him to bed and be there when he woke up, it was all worth the trouble of bringing him to the bookstore with me, even if it was a slight struggle on the days I was busy. 

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I heard the quietest knock on the other side of the door to my office and I looked up from my computer, seeing one of my employees trying to get my attention. They all knew whenever Oliver was with me and they all knew to look through the glass of the door to check and see if he was sleeping or not to judge the volume of their knock, otherwise I’d make them regret it if they ever woke him. I was happy that the almost silent knock didn’t wake him and I got up, leaving my office as quietly as I could to go to my employee and see what they wanted. 

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“Yes, Jaime..?” I questioned.

“Hey, uhm.. I was just wondering if I could go home at five..? I don’t want to bore you, but.. My girlfriend is meeting me up at the festival and it’s our three year anniversary, I wanna show up and surprise her with something nice.. So, could I leave at five to go get ready beforehand and meet her there?” He asked and I stared at him for a moment. “I-I mean.. Only if you don’t need me to work anymore.. Jill and Mike are still here working the registers, but there’s barely anyone in the store.. I was.. Just asking.. If not, it’s okay I guess.. I’ll just text her telling her I’ll be late..”

“Why would you be late? Wouldn’t that mean that you planned it earlier during your shift in hopes of getting out early in the first place?” I asked, crossing my arms over my chest and he began to squirm a little as he stood there.

“Oh, uhm.. W-Well, it wasn’t on purpose, really.. I actually was scheduled to only work until two today, but Cindy left early and I had to take over her shift,” he said with a sorrowful tone.

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“So, she left without telling me and stuck you with her remaining hours?” I asked and he nodded, “I see..” I replied, thinking for a moment as he continued to act nervous, awaiting my answer eagerly. But, he was lucky I was in a good mood, “Well, her mistake was not being a good worker in the first place, and also not telling me.. Yeah, you can go now if you’d like instead of five, thank you for sticking around and taking over her shift, even though you didn’t have to. I assume she’ll be at the festival, so if you see her before me, tell her she’s fired..” I replied, seeing his expression do a complete turn around and he smiled.

“I’ll definitely do that, thank you for letting me go! Will I see you there, too, after you close?” He asked, comfortable with me now that he knew I wasn’t mad at him.

“Yeah, maybe I’ll see you.. Ollie and I are going to meet my wife up there. You should stop by her dessert table, she makes an excellent funnel cake,” I reply with a smirk and he smiles more with a nod.

“Awesome, sounds good! I’ll see you later then, boss, thanks again,” he answered happily and I nodded, watching him leave before turning back around and going back into my office quietly. He was a good kid and a good worker, I enjoyed having him around the bookstore, and his honesty along with his genuine nature towards people made me briefly consider making him an assistant manager in the near future. I could use someone around here to help me so I don’t get overwhelmed by doing everything myself.

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I went back into my office and worked on more of what I needed to finish, and roughly around five thirty, Ollie began to wake up. Even though I only had a few more things to complete, the more he woke up, the more energy he got and he wanted to go to the festival eagerly to see his Mother, so I called it quits before the clock hit six and I got Ollie dressed to go to the festival. Nina had bought him a few Easter outfits to choose from to wear tonight, so I let him wear whichever one he wanted to make Nina happy. She needed her spirits lifted after dealing with Gareth for so long, and I’m sure seeing Oliver wearing the clothes she bought for him would bring up her mood. I cared for Nina because she was the mother of my niece, and I know I always thought less of her for being too naive to leave Gareth for how badly he treats her, but I had to admit I was impressed by how long she’s been able to put up with him. She was a lot stronger than I thought to deal with such a menace on her own. I knew I could deal with it because he was my brother and I had to growing up, but I gave her a lot of credit for being able to stay with him for the sake of Kat, even with now hearing from her that he hasn’t been faithful, which didn’t surprise me at all when she told us.. Their awful relationship made me grateful that I had someone as dedicated as Hannah in my life.

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“You look great, Ollie. You ready to go see Mommy and find some Easter eggs?” I asked him, carrying him out of my office after I had shut everything off.

“Yeah! And I wanna eat a cupcake and ice cream, a-and..” He answered excitedly, trying to think of everything he wanted to do when we got to the festival.

I chuckled at how excited he was, warming my heart as I tried to think of other things for us to do, “How about getting your face painted?”

“Yeah, that, too!” He replied and I chuckled happily again. 

“How aboutttt.. Bobbing for apples?” I continued and he nodded happily with a smile, “And.. Oh! There’s some fireworks later, too! Are you excited for those?”

“Yeah, yeah! Mommy likes fireworks, too!”

“Yup, she sure does,” I answered with a laugh, leaning in and pecking his cheek happily. We walked downstairs and I let the rest of the employees leave with us, locking the door behind us and Oliver and I made our way to the festival. 

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When Ollie and I got to the festival, we walked around for a few minutes, admiring all of the decorations and children running around gathering Easter eggs for the spring season. I set Oliver down on the ground and encouraged him to go and find a lilac colored egg to bring to his mother and he excitedly ran off to carefully inspect every egg he could find until he found the perfect one. “Daddy, look! I can’t find lilac, but I found purple..?”

“Good job, I’m sure she’ll love it,” I replied with a smile, taking it from him to hold onto and Oliver rushed off to find more eggs just for fun.

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After about twenty minutes of being there, I decided it was time that Ollie and I go on the search for Hannah’s booth and when we were looking around, I ran into Jaime from earlier with the girlfriend that he was supposed to meet here. “Hey, Mr. Dubois!” I heard from a distance, seeing him pulling his girlfriend towards me with a smile and I smiled warmly at the sight of them together, “This is my girlfriend, Belle,” he introduced her, but stopped to correct himself, “Sorry, uhm.. Fiance, Belle,” he added, giving a shy look towards her and I held an impressed expression. “This is my boss at the bookstore, Mr. Dubois.”

“Hello, Mr. Dubois,” she said politely.

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“Please, call me Gibson, it’s good to meet you,” I replied, looking to Jaime then, “So, the surprise for her was a ring? That’s wonderful, congrats,” I reply and he chuckled nervously, “Let me see the ring,” I requested politely and she showed it to me with the biggest grin on her lips, “Wow.. That’s a big rock. You’re a very lucky young woman, he’s a great kid,” I complimented and he bowed his head in appreciation.