Returning home Jay found his father hammering on the door as if to break it down. “Open up Clayton, I know you are in there!”
“Do calm down old man. Surely there is no reason for the neighbours to get involved in all this?”
“I came to take him home. He will not be staying here with you. You’re a known felon for goodness sake!”
“And you're a drunk! Get this straight there is no way he is leaving here with you.” Clayton opened the door to find Jay and his father arguing outside.
“Go back inside Clayton. This doesn’t yet concern you.”
“O no you don’t. You are coming with me and that is finale.” Obediently Clayton closed the door just as his father made a grab for his arm. “Now I suggest you leave before I call the cops. This is still my property and he is still my brother.”
“You’re still on parole they won’t let you keep him.”
“Maybe not. But then again if I can prove that you are a drunk and abuse your children... how do you think they will react?”
“Fine I’m leaving but don’t you go thinking that you are rid of me. I’ll be back.”
“And I’ll be waiting old man.” Glancing down the street Jay noticed the old seadog standing on the corner watching him with haunting eyes. Crossing the remainder of his yard Jay went and leaned on the fence as they exchanged a few low spoken words.
“Nothing I can’t handle. Why are you here anyway?”
“I heard something... there’s a rumour floating about. They say the cops are planning a raid here tomorrow.”
“How reliable is this information?”
“Apparently one of the boys grew a conscience and went squealing.”
“We can quickly rectify that.”
“The damage is already done and they can’t pin this on me so you’re safe, for now.”
“I see. Thanks for the heads up.” A small package changed hands before the old seadog whispered to him his finale bit of information.
The house was quite as Jay entered, except that was, for the faint sounds escaping form the basement. Descending the stairs Jay saw Clayton crouching next to the imprisoned girl. He was trying his best to calm her down. His hands rested on her shoulders in a useless attempt at calming her quite sobs of fear as he sat staring at her. “I promise you I’m not here to hurt you I don’t even have a weapon with me.”
“No, but I do.” His faint smile on his face Jay cocked his gun as he took aim at Clayton’s back. Slowly he rose to his feet with his hands held above his head. Knowing full well that his brother would shoot at the first sign of trouble. “This really isn’t what it seems, Jay.”
“O yeah of course not, you were just down here to take her lunch order.” Jay crossed the distance between them as Clayton’s heart raced in his chest. The slight movement of the gun was lost on Clayton until Jay suddenly shot his hand down on Clayton’s shoulder sending him crumbling to the floor in a heap of pain.
“Leave him alone!” Fear showed in her voice as Jay turned to look at her.
“My, my looks like we have a brave one here. You’re much braver than your mother was. Must be your father’s blood coursing through those veins of yours.” Replacing his gun he kneeled next to her, taking her face in his hand as he continued his little rant. “Your mother would never have spoken to me like that. Such a pretty little face. Would be a shame if it were to, oh I don’t know get damaged some how.”
“Leave her alone Jay. She has no fight with you.” He was struggling to sit up against the wall as he used every ounce of his strength to speak. Jay turned on his heels to face Clayton, anger raging through his veins. “There's painkillers in the kitchen now get out of my sight.” Waiting for Clayton to disappear up the steps Jay took the small parcel from his back pocket. “What is that?”
“This is what you are now going to swallow without any resistance.” Her eyes stayed fixed on the small tablet in his hand as she spoke. “There is no way I am going to swallow that.”
“I don’t think you understand. You are going to drink it, the only choice you have is either to drink it yourself or if I am going to force it down your throat.”
“Try me.” Handing her the tabled a second time Jay was rather surprised to find the tablet being thrown across the room. So he got up without a word and went to fetched the it. Kneeling by her side again, his eyes lazily went from the tablet; to her. His hands were faster than she anticipated as he forced a stop to her air intake. In a last desperate attempt to get him to release her she started pleaded with him, begging him to let her go. “I will let go once you open up and swallow.”
“What are you doing?” Clayton’s voice came from the top of the stairs yet he stood next to Jay in the same instance.
“Either do as I say or leave Clayton.” He didn’t take his eyes from her face as she struggled for air. Clayton couldn’t decide what to do and stood staring at them as Jay started to forced open her mouth. Silently he knelt down by her head as he gently took hold of her head while she cried and pleaded with them.
“Now hold her still until I say so.”
“Wait! I’ll drink it just let me go.” The two men shared a look before Jay nodded and Clayton let go of her. With shaky hands she took the offered water and swallowed the tablet as the slowly diminishing sobs shook her fragile body. Taking the glass from her Jay led Clayton back up the stairs, leaving her to cry herself to sleep.
“What did you give her?”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“I want to know. I need to know, Jay.”
“It was just a mild sedative.”
“Why? Why did she have to take it?”
“Because I said so.” His irritation was clear and yet Clayton could not stop himself.
“Are you never going to trust me?”
“We’re leaving soon. Ok? I don’t need any more trouble so as soon as she is asleep we will be leaving.”
“Where are we going? You’re not going to send me back to him are you?” Seeing the fear in his brother’s eyes Jay felt a heavy sigh escape him as he thought of how little Clayton trusted him to protect him.
“No, not yet. For now you can stay with me.” A sudden knock on the door interrupted their conversation. “Go and pack so long I’ll be with you in a minute.” Turning to leave Clayton was again stopped in his tracks by Jay’s commanding voice.
“Just one more thing Clay, why were you down there?”
“I really wasn’t trying to free her.”
“You said that already. So why were you there?”
“I went down to see what was down there. I hear some faint noises and wanted to go and investigate them. And when I found her I just, wanted to know what she was doing there. What was going on.”
“You could have just asked me.”
“Would you really have told me?”
“You could still have asked.” There came another more urgent knock on the door pulling Jay’s attention from Clayton once more. “Just go. And I never want to find you near her. Do you understand me?”
“Sure, never again. I give you my word.”