Thunder roared outside as the rain poured behind drawn curtains. Snuggling safely in Jay’s arms, against the cold of the night, Elaina carefully wagered her odds before speaking. “You truly loved her didn’t you?
“What kind of a question is that?” The tension he felt soon made itself apparent in his tightening arms. Her tone was regretful as she mused on to herself. “I was just thinking about everything that you’re doing in her memory.” Answering after a moment’s hesitation Jay surprised her by saying that he was also doing it for her. “But is all this blood really necessary then? Was her blood worth the innocent blood you want to spill tomorrow?” His silence was demanded an answer as his eyes wordlessly searched hers. “I just mean that you are punishing yourself for her death. It wasn’t your fault.” Leaving Elaina sitting on the bed Jay headed for the door. “Where are you going?”
“You’re going to have to deal with this sooner or later, Jay!” Somewhere down the hall she could hear a door slam shut forever locking her out.
The icy wind snapped at Clayton’s toes as he made his way over to the open front door. The moon was out again as the rain now only softly drizzled over the sleeping scenery. “Jay? What are you doing up so late?”
“You know, I really hate this place. Never truly liked it.” With a sigh of defeat Clayton closed the door and went to make himself comfortable on the railing. “Hand me some of that will you?”
“Always bothering me. Always something wrong.” Jay seemed to be in his own little world as he handed Clayton the bottle.
“She told you then, huh?”
“I’m not trying to punish myself! Can u believe her telling me that her blood isn’t worth all the effort? What would she have wanted me to do if it was her I was trying to avenge?” Jay’s voice rose over the quite of the night as the liquor slowly drove the cold from their bones.
“This sucks Jay, I barely got my head around plan A and not there is already a plan B on the horizon.”
His dull lifeless eyes searched his brother’s face. “Who said anything about a plan B?”
Clayton just shrugged. “I figured that since there is now two…”
“So we use two bullets instead of one. No plan B needed.”
The following morning brought with it a strange calm to the house. Everyone seemed to be trapped in their own world not wanting to interact much with the other people in the house. That was until Jay spotted Clayton emerging from his room. “Hey, Clay, I was thinking about what you said last night.” Still rubbing the sleep from his eyes Clayton tried his best to connect the sentence with the previous night’s events. “About me going through with all this trouble…”
“Ok, I wasn’t really expecting that, especially not this early in the morning.” Dragging his chair over to the table Clayton made himself comfortable next to Jay. “So what have come up with?” Over the last couple of days Clayton had lost most of his fear for his brother, growing into a self-assured young man, leaving behind his shaky youth. “Did I say that I’ve come up with anything?”
“Please Jay, I know you.” A gentle smile slipped onto Jay’s face as he stared at his brother before continuing. “One of my contacts seem to be in the area and I’ve been thinking of handing those two over to him.” Clayton said nothing. A shocked silence taking hold of his earlier good mood. “You can go back to school. Have the life you always wanted.”
“And what will you do then?” His voice was low, holding only the slightest hint of anger.
“I was thinking I would follow Elaina up North, see where that leads me.”
“So that’s it? You’re getting tired of living with me and now you want to get rid of me! And for what to be with some girl? If you don’t want me around anymore just say it.” Getting up from the table Clayton stood glaring at his brother. He had worked so hard to have a somewhat normal relationship with his brother and here he was trying to push him away again.
“That’s not true Clay, and you know that. I only want you to be happy.”
“But I am happy!”
“I’m just going to talk to them. It’s not like I’m definitely leaving.” Turning to storm from the room Clayton was stopped at the door by Jay’s voice. “I promised Leona, I mean Elaina, that I would finish what we started. I can’t just abandon her now. Just like I would never abandon you. ” It crushed his heart to know that Jay was willing to give that much for his second love. It hurt him that he was only thought of second to her, he was after all the one that needed Jay, not her. She had a family to return to he had no one. Standing in the doorway he tried his best to pull himself together before he left. The tears silently cascading down his face.