The next morning was a solemn one. Bree had gotten Jude back from the neighbor and even he felt the atmosphere’s depression, “I’m surprised Janel hasn’t called me yet telling me how much she misses me.”
“Well then she knows visiting your cousin is important work.”
I looked at Bree, eyebrow raised.
Then a bit of chaos ensued. My cell phone rang and immediately Jude began crying, “Aw Christ it’s Janel.”
“Jude! Please, please stop crying.”
“Don’t worry Bree; I got a lie up my sleeve.”
“I’ll take him away awhile. He’s just tired anyway,” Bree carried red haired and faced Jude into the other room while I finally answered the phone, “Hello?”
“Patrick, you…you have to come home,” Was Janel crying? “Janel what’s wrong?”
“It’s well…is there a baby there?”
Whenever news is really bad news, she changes the subject all the time, “Yeah, it’s Bree’s kid, now what’s wrong?”
“It’s Chase. He…he killed himself.”
What little cheer that was left in the world seemed to disappear with that sentence, “He…what?”
Loud sobs came through the phone now, “I’m so sorry Pat. None of us expected this.”
I heard Bree behind me, and I quickly wiped the tears from my eyes. But she them anyway and gave me a hug from behind, “What happened?” She whispered.
“Janel, I got to go.”
“I understand honey.” I hung up without saying good-bye and turned around so I could lay my cheek on Bree’s head and sobbed. This emotional breakdown surprised Bree and she asked, more pressing this time, “What happened?”
“Chase killed himself.”
I sobbed harder now, the news finally truly sinking in. Bree continued hugging me, though I slightly noticed her slight frame had frozen in my hands. There was something wrong with her I sensed, “Bree, is there something needed to be said?”
She didn’t move, keeping her face buried in my shirt, “Bree?” My voice was small and my wild imagination fueled now by recent death had me worried even more about Bree.
She slowly shook her head and stared up at me, “Chase didn’t kill himself.”
“What do you mean? Janel just said-“
Bree shook her head again, “Remember my friend Creeves killed?”
I nodded, trying to put two and two together as Bree continued, “We were told he killed himself too,” She suddenly pushed me away, “Damnit Pat, this is why you shouldn’t have come. He probably asked Chase where you went and he didn’t say, so he killed him Pat. That’s why I left. People get killed because of me!”
I gazed at my feet. Could Creeves have truly killed Chase? You don’t really think-“
“Yes Pat, he killed him. And he’s probably here right-“
There was a pound at the door and it made us both jump, “See?” Bree grumbled,” And don’t bother hiding; it’s no use.”
So we both began walking to the door and out of the corner of my eye I saw Bree’s hands shaking, terrified, “It’s okay,” I whispered, talking hold of her hand and giving a slight smile. I reached for the doorknob and turned it.
“Hello Bree,” A little old man stood on the porch, “I just came to give you back your dish,” and his shaky hands held a cake dish, “Oh Mr. Michael, I thought you were someone else. Thank you for returning it.”
“Your welcome. Oh and there’s a frightening fellow out there looking for you. Says he’s your husband. And I said, ‘Now that makes no sense because…”
Bree and I ignored Mr. Michael and immediately looked outside to see Creeves and two men standing at Lucy’s house. We saw her point at us and Bree slammed the door shut, “Sorry Mr. Michael,” Bree called out as I quickly picked Jude off the floor, “Where should we go?” Bree asked.
“No, we have Jude.”
I caught sight of a stairs cabinet, hardly noticeable, “C’mere Jude,”
“Pat, don’t you dare put him in there!” Bree shrieked. For once, I ignored her and opened the door, “Look Bree, there’s a light to turn on,” I pulled the string and the light flickered on, “In you go Jude,” Jude giggled, thinking this was some game. Bree thought otherwise, “You are not putting him in there.”
Then came a hard band and this time it was not small Mr. Michael, “Ok put him in!” Bree quickly changed her mind and we ran out into the backyard, “Here, we can climb up in that tree,” I caught the tree Bree was pointing out and hefted myself up, letting Bree take hold of my hand and I lifted her up as well, “Climb a little bit higher,” Bree stated. We found a decently sized branch and took a seat, “Pat, I’m sorry. I was definitely the cause of Chase’s death.”
“No, you told me not to come, and I did so-“
“Sshh, someone’s coming.” We fell silent, Bree taking my hand. I leaned down towards her ear, breathing in her summery lemon scent, and I whispered, “No matter what happens, I still will love you.”
She didn’t respond, but the blush crawling across her cheeks was enough.
Out the door walked Creeves and the two men he was with before. Only Jude was giggling in Creeves’ arms now, “Bree!” Creeves cried into the woods, “I have this child here of yours. It would be a right shame for something bad to happen to him,” There was something in Creeves’ other hand, and I reached over to cover Bree’s eyes with my other hand, but she swatted it away; she had already seen the gun, “What should we do?” I whispered. She looked down at Creeves then shook her head, “I can’t have anything bad happen to Jude.”
“He wouldn’t shoot a baby,” I gaffed.
She eyed me for a second until I agreed on the matter. I gazed at Bree, trying to remember her face forever, only to see a pair of hands grab her and cover her mouth, “Oh my-“ I wasn’t able to finish because another pair did the same to me. They ripped us out of the tree and my hand blindly groped for Bree’s, “Bree and Patrick, so glad you decided to join us,” Creeves smirked. Jude must have seen the fear in our eyes because he began crying, “Shut up,” Creeves growled. Jude naturally didn’t listen, “Tell it to shut up,” Creeves instructed as the man holding Bree removed his hand from her mouth, “Judey, relax. We’re fine,” Her voice was shaking with tears, making my heart burn with hatred towards Creeves, but Jude quieted from Bree’s false reassurance, “By the way Patrick, I believe you’re late for a funeral. The newspaper said, I think, today at three?”
I counted to ten to calm myself down.
“He was a pretty loyal friend though. He didn’t tell me where you were until he was seconds from death.”
At that point I forgot about counting and bit my captor’s hand and began sprinting towards Creeves, who merely laughed and settled the gun’s barrel on Jude’s temple, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” His words and actions made me come to a halt, “You see, I have the ace in this round Patrick,” He leaned in closer to my face, allowing me to smell the assorted drugs on his breath, “You finally lose chum,” Creeves laughed again and I felt my shoulders collapse with defeat. Creeves was, for once, right. He turned to glare at Bree, “Bree, come,” He ordered her like a dog. She looked to him, then turned to me, yearn for me in her eyes; she wanted to be with me, yet she wanted to keep Jude safe. I shook my head, “Save Jude, Bree” I whispered. She began towards Creeves and murmured, “Give me Jude.”
Creeves gave her a perverted grin, “I don’t think so,” and with a snap of his fingers the one man grabbed little Jude and got into the one black van. As this was happening Bree screamed, begging Creeves to give her Jude back. Creeves merely ignored her wishes and shoved her into the other van, “Bree,” I whispered. The windows were tinting, but I could still see her banging on the window.
Rushing up to the window I settled my hand on it and looked at Bree through it. Her eyes were bluer than usual since they were also red from crying so much. I mouthed the words “I love you” through the window, which unfortunately made her cry harder. The van suddenly lurched forward and she was gone in a second.
I forgot about the other man.
“What a little pretty boy,” The man growled as he shoved me down into the mud, “See you later,” The two remaining men cackled with Jude’s sobbing in the background.
Then that van was gone too, and I was left alone face first in the mud, “Well,” I said to myself, “this sucks.”
I acted like the little pretty boy I that the unknown man said I was and showered off the mud, with every intention to get back home as soon as possible. After the shower I shut off the water in the house as well as the electricity.
Once I had shut everything off I walked into her garage towards the motorcycle, mysteriously knocked over. Once I got a better look I groaned: both tires were slashed.
Now how do I get home?