This chapter mentions gun violence and two characters lose their lives. If you find this content disturbing please do not read it.
“What did he do I asked”
“TJ, please keep calm.” CC said while looking at my mom, I’ve got a bad feeling.
“He shot up the school.” CC had dropped the bomb
“HE WHAT! I need my phone I need to check on my friends.” I said as I started to panic.
“Tracy is leaving to go take care of things at the school but will be super protected. We cannot risk anyone finding you TJ. Until we can safely remove the things installed on your phone you can’t have it.” CC said
“My friends might think I died or got hurt.” I started to panic. Mom must have sensed it as she pulled me into a hug and rubbed my back, it wasn’t helping. Just then the door burst open and JC came in,
“TJ did you hear what happened today?” JC asked
“Yes CC just told me. Are our friends ok? I asked
“The twins are in serious condition” JC said and I looked at mom and CC
“He tracked them based on your contacts in your phone.” CC said
“Holy shit Jake and Josh” I yelled.
“Who are they?” Mom asked.
“Jake is Jacob from Abercrombie and Josh is his boyfriend” CC took her phone to the other room and made a call. I was super nervous and scared.
JC took my hand and led me from the office to our room upstairs. He had me lay on the bed and cuddled with me making me the little spoon. He sang somewhere over the rainbow to me and I fell asleep. I was surprised I didn’t dream of dad or anything. I woke hours later with JC still behind me. I was able to rotate around and look at his face, gosh he was cute.
My mind began to wander and I thought about everything I learned. My dad ran one of the largest security firms that dealt in shady business and I was expected to fill his shoes. He always told me he wanted my life to be better than his but I never knew what he meant and I wonder if it was this. I also was thinking how JC would fit into this. Would he approve and how do Tracy and Jack fit in? What about Grayson, Beau and Lucas? My head was filling with all kinds of ideas.
“Hey babe, something in your mind? You look deep in thought which seems to be happening a whole lot lately.” J said
“I am not sure what you know and what I can tell you but I love you and don’t want any secrets. Apparently my father owned a shady security business and my mom and Uncle Brayden have been running it and they want me to take over. It would mean I give up dancing and I’m not sure I want too. I also just met my Great Uncle Bob today.”
“Bob Barton is your Great Uncle? I’ve known him forever. He was the Managing Partner at the firm where dad is for a while but stepped away for personal reason. He has this one huge account that pop said only certain folks can work on but it required a Non-Disclosure agreement.”
“Would it happen to be BHO?” I asked
“Something like that. Pop said other partners have wanted it since it’s a cash cow but Barton won’t let anyone else near it. I think Pop has worked on it but he won’t say.”
“I can ask him.” I said
“I doubt he’d tell you.” J said
“Well since he works for me he will” I replied
“Wait BHO is yours? No way.”
“Yeah, dad didn’t want me in the family business but he didn’t divest it and now it’s mine.”
“TJ, I don’t know what to say.”
“Me either. I am worried with everything going that Julliard will rescind their offer.” I said dejectedly
“TJ, Dad and Pop won’t let that happen. Pop is already going after the label for my new album, he was making calls before I left.”
“Good I hope he makes them pay. On another note, could we make love?” I asked but was interrupted by J’s stomach growling.
“I guess I need to either eat you first or go find some food.”
“I got something you can eat” I said with a wicked grin
“NOT THAT! Let’s go find some food.” J said and pulled me up from the bed and we headed downstairs. We found out that they had grilled out already and had set aside burgers and dogs to make for us. Kellan went and fired up the grill and cooked for us. He cooked food better than Uncle Brayden. After we ate I went and sat by CC
“Any news on Josh or Jake?” I asked
“Nothing yet. I have folks canvasing the city to find them.” CC said as she looked at mom. There was something I wasn’t being told and it frustrated me.
“Is there any way I can have a session with Kev? I really need it” I said
“Let me check but it would have to be secure.” CC said and walked away
“Ok mom, you know something. Want to clue me in?” I asked
“Sweet heart, I’d love too but I can’t.” Mom said apologetically
“You guys and your damn secrets” I shouted I got up and went to storm out of the house but was blocked
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!” I shouted at the guards. They didn’t move.
“YOU WORK FOR ME ASSHOLES SO MOVE!” I was losing patience.
“TJ, what’s wrong?” J asked me.
“THEY WON’T LET ME LEAVE” I shouted at him. It dawned on me and I ran upstairs to the room and slammed and locked the door. I moved the dresser in front of the door. I grabbed J’s ipad, did a backup and then wiped it. I signed in with my info and I had access. I pulled up Jacob and tried to facetime him and got no answer. I tried Josh and the same result, I was beginning to panic. As the guards were banging on the bedroom door, I put some clothes and shoes on, grabbed the ipad and made for the window. I got onto the roof and made my way down. I found it strange no one was outside guarding the roof. I made it to the back patio and made a dash for the side of the house and out front. I checked the nearest SUV and by dumb luck the keys were inside. I hopped in and started the truck which got the attention of someone inside. I didn’t know where to go but that wasn’t going to stop me. I peeled out of the driveway while the men were running out the door and I could hear Uncle Brayden shouting. I knew they probably had trackers on the truck so I needed to ditch it. I remember near the airport there wererental car companies but I knew it would be an expensive charge but the last place they would look. I found the airport and parked the car in the long term lot. I wanted them to check the airport to give myself time. I locked the truck and took the keys and went to the Avis rental car. The guy looked at me strangely when I said I needed a car.
“Where are you headed” The rental agent asked.
“Is there a limit on where I can go?” I replied
“Well no, but we like to ask.” He said.
“Well I am going home to New York.” I said as I pulled JC’s Black American Express out of my wallet.
“OH. No problem sir, sorry for the confusion”
“I need a car with good gas mileage and GPS.” I said. He gave me a Toyota Avalon and said since I was doing a one way that was what he had. I didn’t give him any issues. I got in the car and set the destination for Miami and began driving the long bridge between the islands’ glancing in my rearview frequently. I made sure the ipad was off as not to tip anyone off. I found an ATM for my bank and withdrew as much money as possible. I didn’t want to leave a trail where I was going. I kept driving and it was a long ass drive. It took about 3 hours to get to Miami. I was getting tired but wanted to go further away. I finally stopped in Fort Lauderdale and found a Target and bought some clothes and food. I parked at a different hotel than where I was staying at. I didn’t want to be found.
I missed JC terribly but I didn’t know what to. I tossed and turned all night. I eventually decided it was time to hit the road. I had the free hotel breakfast and then went to the car. I didn’t see any of the security guys so I was fine. I got in the car and set the navigation for my destination and it said it was going to take 15 hours and 11 minutes. Well I guess I better get driving. I made sure not to draw attention to myself and drove the speed limit. I stopped and stretched for a while trying to make it in one day. I landed up stopping in Richmond, Virginia for the night. I needed more money as I was running low and I knowing they were monitoring me I decided to hold off on cash. The next morning when I went to check out I was short on cash so I used JC’s card. This would tell them where I was but I would be gone before they knew it. I signed the slip and was out the door and on my way. I stopped at a local gas station for coffee and cash when I saw two SUV’s enter the hotel parking lot. Crap.
I hopped into the car and took off and tried to blend in. I knew they wouldn’t be far behind. I knew I needed to lose them somehow. The GPS gave me two routes to my destination and one was out of the way. If they thought I was going to New York they’d stick to I-95 but that wasn’t my true destination. I took the scenic route and went up VA 209 towards Maryland 301. As luck would have it I wasn’t followed and was more relaxed. I stopped in La Plata Maryland and had lunch at the McDonalds. I took my time and drove the rest of the way. I knew they would never look for me where I was heading. When I got close I was pretty much on auto-pilot. I hadn’t been here since he was buried. My GPS said
“You have arrived at Arlington National Cemetery”
I parked and sat in the car willing myself to walk in but I couldn’t just yet. I also had been avoiding all kinds of news. I turned the ipad on and looked up Josh and Jake and the shooting. I came across the news I knew they were hiding, Jake and Josh were both dead. I cried for a while in the car and when I gained enough composure I left the ipad on and connected and headed into the cemetery office.
I provided my family pass and id and was allowed to enter. I knew I had a bit of walk to get to where dad was. Passing all these graves reminded me of the folks who died for this country and it made me sad that some never got to come back alive. As I made my way to the back where dad was I felt like I might collapse.
Finally I reached the area and looked at the tombstone
Cpt. Tristan J. Michaels
I couldn’t read his tombstone anymore and I collapsed onto the ground crying.
Please be prepared as the next chapter will have a 5 year time jump after we find TJ.