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    Tiff
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The Price of Revelation - 15. Chapter 15

The Price of Revelation
by Tiffani Chin

Chapter 15

---------------------------------------------

Zeke watched the tall brunette walk away from their front door. He sighed and looked at Skyler. “I’m not so sure we should have lied to West, Sky.”

Skyler ran his fingers through his hair. “What was I supposed to do, Zeke? Do you know how hard it is for me to talk with Storm and Rachel and hear that there is no news on Sean? It’s not easy. If I told West the truth, I would have the kid asking me every other minute about Sean. I don’t need that, Zeke.”

Zeke hung his head. “I know, baby. I know. I’m sorry. I just felt bad. Did you see the look on West’s face?”

Skyler squeezed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I did. It was heartbreaking.” He smiled slightly. “Their summer fling definitely isn’t over. I hope they get together in the future.” His smile faded. His eyes glossed over.

Zeke knew what his partner was thinking. He walked over and hugged Skyler tightly. “They’ll find him. They’ll find him.” He kissed Skyler’s temple.

Skyler didn’t say anything. He only hugged Zeke harder.



 

******



 

The flight was short. Storm was thankful for red-eye flights. He couldn’t sit still for the entire flight. His thoughts were swirling, his mind racing, and his fingers tingled in anticipation. He was this much closer to Sean, this much closer to getting his son back. His stomach clenched nervously.

Molded to his fist was a piece of paper with a very important address. He no longer needed the paper, since he had memorized the address, but the sweaty wad in his hand gave him something to curl his fists around in desperate hope.

Chelsea Waters. Storm had just missed her phone call when he got back from a long day of work. When he heard her message, his head was clouded with such disbelief and shock that he had replayed her message three times before hurriedly calling her back. Chelsea Waters. That girl was a saint or the whole situation was a miracle.

Storm had no clue where to look for Sean and didn’t know how to navigate the area at all. He had decided to rent a car and drive to the restaurant where Chelsea worked. She offered to help him search for Sean, while supposedly the cops were doing the same.

Detective Johnson had said he would call the police in North Carolina and explain the details.

Storm impatiently waited for everyone to exit the plane. “Hurry,” he muttered, his feet shuffling anxiously. All he could think about was Sean. “Move it, move it,” he breathed in annoyance. When an elderly couple frowned at him, he glared in return. “What are you looking at?” he snapped. Once off the plane, he brushed past them, not sparing a second glance behind him.



 

******



 

“We can’t go back to that restaurant!” Ethan yelled. “We have to leave today. There are cops everywhere! I swear some people were looking at us funny, almost like they recognized us. Fuck, fuck, fuck! I should have had us use disguises when going out. Shit. I can’t believe I let my guard down. Fuck! How could I have been so stupid? Someone always notices.” He threw more clothes into a bag. “We’ll get some food on the way.”

“I like it here,” Sean begged.

“No, they’ll spot us. We have to keep moving, otherwise I might lose you. Your face is unique and distinct. You don’t blend that easily. We have to go. Stop arguing,” Ethan said firmly. “It’s the only way we can be together.”

Sean swallowed hard and tried not to burst into tears. He didn’t know if that waitress had read his note or thrown it out, but if they left now, there was no hope of him being found.

“But…” Sean didn’t get to finish his sentence. Ethan grabbed his chin and gripped it tightly. Ethan’s cold blue eyes bore into him.

“Are you going to give me trouble, Sean?” There was a threatening note in his voice.

Sean quickly shook his head.

“Good, because one way or another, you’re coming with me,” Ethan finished, a fierce look in his eyes. He began rummaging inside his duffel bag, and Sean spotted the glint of metal, of Ethan’s gun. He bit his lip.

Ethan stalked into the bathroom to pack their toiletries.

Sean’s heart pounded. For as long as they had been here together, this was the first time Ethan walked out of a room without Sean in tow or tied to the bed. His palms became sweaty. He licked his lips. “You’re a fast runner,” he whispered to himself. “You can do this. I know you can.”

He bolted for the door, yanking it open with great effort since it was so heavy. Then he ran to the elevators, punching the down button frantically. “Come on, come on,” he hissed frantically. “Please, open, please!” Sean kept looking at the door he had just run out of, waiting for Ethan’s tall frame to pop out.

Ethan shot into the hallway, looking left and right, then directly at Sean. “Sean!”

The elevator doors opened. Even before he was completely inside, Sean jammed his finger on the ‘close’ button, pressing it incessantly. “Fucking close!” Sean screamed in frustration. Then it did, as if in slow motion. Sean’s heart was in his throat as he anticipated Ethan’s face popping in between the silver doors.

It never happened. They slid shut and Sean was on his way to the lobby. Sean was breathing hard. He rested his hands on his knees. His eyes watched the descending numbers, each glowing button pumping a little more hope into him. “Lobby, lobby,” he breathed. “Almost there.”

The marbled tiles of the lobby floor met his gaze. Sean zipped through the small opening before the doors were fully open.

Sean smacked himself against the front desk. The woman looked up from her computer startled. “Help me,” Sean gasped, his throat constricting in fear. “Help me, please!”

“Umm, sir…” she began hesitantly.

“I’ve been kidnapped. I live in New Jersey. My name is Sean Chin. Call the…” Sean trailed off when he heard rapid footsteps. Looking up, he saw Ethan emerge from a door, probably the stairs. Ethan’s face was red and he looked out of breath. Sean’s feet were already angled toward the exit. “Call the police,” he shouted at the woman, staring into her eyes one last time. “Call the police! Please, do it!”

He was out the front door, with Ethan at his heels. Sweat was already dripping down Sean’s face, his shirt clinging to his back. His stomach and legs burned. He was so overcome with emotions that he wanted to collapse on the ground.

He never stopped running. He never slowed down. He dared not turn back. Sean kept running, only looking ahead. If Ethan caught up to him, Sean would know. He didn’t need to turn and see. He didn’t want to waste a precious second, waste a step.

“Sean!” Ethan shouted. “Sean, come back here!”

Ethan’s voice sounded loud and close. Sean didn’t know if it was his imagination or his paranoia kicking in, but he panicked and surged ahead, swinging his arms powerfully, taking large, lunging steps, inhaling deeply into his nostrils. His cross-country training kicked in. He rhythmically inhaled and exhaled; his torso upright, stomach sucked in and tightened. This was one race he would win. He needed to.

“Sean!”

Sean had no idea where he was running. The road stretched on forever. There wasn’t a car in sight. He forgot which direction the restaurant was in. To his right, he saw the beach dunes from the corner of his eye. There was a gentle breeze and the familiar salty air drifted into his lungs.

Sean ran and ran. His chest heaved. His lungs screamed. He wanted to vomit. Still, he never stopped, never slowed.

Finally he was rewarded. He saw a shopping center and the familiar sign of the supermarket. That meant the restaurant wasn’t too far off. Sean wanted to break down crying, in joy or relief, but he forced himself to keep running.

There was no time to stop. Ethan was coming for him.



 

******



 

“Did you see what direction they took off in?” Storm asked.

Chelsea shook her head. “Sorry, I didn’t. Sean didn’t hand me the note, he pushed it into my apron pocket. I didn’t notice it until I went on my break and they were long gone by then.”

Storm let out a breath and ran his fingers through his short hair. Chelsea took in the stressed man in front of her, who appeared as if he hadn’t slept in weeks if the bags under his eyes were any indication.

“I called the police, but they don’t know where to search,” Chelsea said apologetically. “I’m guessing they’re patrolling along the beach, questioning hotel staff, to catch a glimpse of Sean. I described him and everything, but…”

Storm nodded. “I know. The police can only do so much...”

“I don’t know what you can do,” Chelsea said feeling helpless. She wanted to help Storm and his son, Sean. “Why don’t you drive to some of the nearby hotels and show the front desk Sean’s picture?” she suggested. “He can’t be too far. A picture could help a lot.”

Storm sighed. “Thanks. Yeah, I guess I’ll do that.” He smiled weakly and turned to leave.

“Good luck,” Chelsea said quietly, hoping the outcome would be good. She kept seeing that pleading look in Sean’s eyes the night before. “That poor kid,” she murmured.

Storm left the restaurant, feeling both hope and heaviness in his heart. Then he whirled around with purpose. He strode back inside. Chelsea met his eyes.

“Bathroom,” Storm said sheepishly. “I can’t remember the last time I took a piss.”

Chelsea smiled and watched him go to the bathroom. An idea struck her. Walking quickly into the kitchen, she filled a plastic cup with soda. She capped it with a plastic lid and slid a straw in the small opening. By the time she left the kitchen, Storm had just emerged.

“Storm!”

He looked over as Chelsea walked up to him. She handed him the cup. He took it dumbly, gazing at her with confusion.

“This is for Sean when you find him. He might be thirsty,” Chelsea said trying to sound confident.

Storm stared at her for a few seconds. He couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed. Without thinking, he reached over and hugged her. Storm was grateful for the slight encouragement. He needed that. Getting Chelsea’s phone call, explaining things to Rachel, and flying down--it was all a bit much in less than twenty-four hours.

Shooting Chelsea one last glance, Storm made for the door. He got settled in the rental car and reversed, pulling out of the parking space.

Suddenly he jammed on his brakes as a blur blew past his car. Storm let out a shocked cry, his heart racing, thinking he nearly ran over someone. When the figure slowed down to open the door of the restaurant, he swung his body slightly, and Storm got a better look at the boy’s face.

His eyes widened in disbelief. “Sean!?!” he shouted. He sat in stunned silence for a moment before he came to his senses, shoving open the car door, not bothering to close it as he followed after Sean.

“Storm!” Chelsea cried out excitedly, hugging Sean to her.

“Sean!” Storm yelled in both relief and exhaustion, rushing over.

Sean turned with tears and sweat streaming down his face. “Dad!” He stumbled to his knees, overcome with happiness at seeing his father. He finally felt safe. He collapsed into Storm’s arms.

The customers who were eating watched the scene in front of them with a mixture of confusion, interest, and annoyance.

Storm hugged Sean so hard, he briefly worried he might crush his own son, but he didn’t care. Tears sprang to his eyes as he kissed the top of Sean’s head. Sean clung tightly to Storm’s waist, sobbing into his father’s chest.

“Dad, he’s out there. He’s after me! He’s chasing me! We have to get out of here!” Sean choked, spit flying from his mouth. “He was behind me, but I never looked back. But I know he’s out there. He’s always out there!” There was a deep fear in Sean’s eyes. “He found me and he, he…and he…”

Storm had never hated another person so much before. He wanted to kill Ethan.

“Please don’t let him get me again,” Sean begged, burying his face in Storm’s chest once again. “Please, Dad. Please. I’ll do anything you say from now on, just don’t let him get me, please! I don’t want to go back to the hotel with him,” he whimpered. “No. Not that. Not there. Please.”

“Never,” Storm promised, rubbing his cheek along Sean’s head. “You’re safe now. I have you. It’s okay. I’m going to take you home and everything will be okay again.”

Sean nodded, fully believing his father.

“Sammy is excited to see you,” Storm breathed, his voice shaky with emotion. “He wants to show you his drawings.”

Sean couldn’t help letting out a small laugh. “Little Sammy.”

Allen, the manager, walked over to Chelsea. “What’s going on?” he hissed.

“Kidnapped kid is reunited with his father,” Chelsea replied with a smile. “Remember the story I told you about? The missing kid from Jersey?”

“Shit! Seriously?” Allen asked incredulously. “That’s him?”

Chelsea nodded. “It makes you want to cry.”

“No kidding. But we can’t have them in the middle of the main room. They’re attracting so much attention,” Allen said biting his lip.

“It’s a bit quiet now. Can we bring them to a booth in the back?” Chelsea asked. “Let them calm down a little?”

Allen glanced at his watch. “Sure. We have a few hours until the dinner rush, if you can call it that.”

Chelsea smiled and walked over to the two men. “Come with me, okay?”

“Everything will be okay now,” Storm whispered to Sean.

“Where are we going?” Sean asked tearfully, his fingers still clinging onto Storm’s coat.

“Just to a table in the back. Let you catch your breath. Are you thirsty or hungry? I can sneak you some food,” Chelsea said warmly. “The cooks love me,” she joked. “You look a little tired and hungry,” she said in a motherly tone.

“Thank you,” Sean said crying again, grabbing onto her hand. “For everything. God, you saved me. I was hoping you’d read the letter…”

Storm held the soda cup Chelsea had filled for him before to Sean’s lips, watching as his son sipped it eagerly.

“Let me get you another drink,” Chelsea said. “Take a seat down there, to the left. There are a bunch of booths to choose from,” she said. “You’ll be left alone.”

Storm opened his mouth to thank her.

“Sean!” A crazed voice echoed. The man’s voice sent chills down Storm’s spine and caused Sean to cringe in fear. “Sean! I know you’re in here! I know you wanted to come back here. Where are you?”

There were screams of panic.

“Shut up!” Ethan snarled. “Where are you, Sean? Come back here. Come back! Now!”

Sean’s fingers dug into Storm’s shoulder. Storm tightened his grip.

“Sean, you know I don’t like to wait!” A loud booming sound startled everyone and seemed to shake the building.

It was a gunshot.

“Come out, Sean! I’m warning you.” Ethan’s voice was a low growl. More people screamed and children were crying. A baby started wailing. “Shut that fucking baby up!”

“He’s crazy. Oh fuck, he’s so crazy,” Storm whispered, spying Chelsea hiding behind the wall of the kitchen with her cell phone in her hand. She mouthed the word ‘police.’

Storm knew they would have to face Ethan soon. The restaurant wasn’t big and eventually Ethan would walk further and spot them. He wished they had disappeared through a back entrance or left in his rental car when they had the chance. Now it was too late.

Storm’s eyes darted around desperately, wondering what he could do to defend his son and himself.

“You.” The word was laced with contempt, disdain, hate, and anger all in one.

Storm met a pair of cold blue eyes. He shoved Sean behind him.

“Sean, come here.”

“You’re not coming near my son ever again,” Storm said, his voice trembling with anger.

Ethan aimed the gun directly at Storm, his elbow locking confidently, his grip strong, never wavering. “I’m not leaving here without Sean,” he countered calmly, with a slight smirk on his lips. “Let’s go, Sean,” he ordered.

“You can shoot me, but you’re still not getting near my son,” Storm said evenly, his fingers tensing.

They engaged in a staring contest until Storm spotted something flying in the air in his peripheral vision. His eyes darted briefly at the movement. Ethan followed his gaze, his brow knitting curiously.

A steak sauce bottle hit Ethan squarely in the forehead. He staggered backward slightly, his arm faltering. Storm pushed Sean toward the floor then lunged at Ethan, intent on grabbing the gun. He wrapped one hand around Ethan’s wrist and the other on the gun.

Ethan recovered quickly and they struggled for the upper hand. Storm raised Ethan’s gun wielding arm to the ceiling as Ethan pulled the trigger repeatedly. Several shots rang out. Storm’s ears started to ring, his head pounding. He shook his head in an effort to get his hearing back, but everything still came out muffled.

Ethan lifted his knee, shoving it into Storm’s side. Storm grunted. Clenching his jaw in pain, he kept a tight grip on Ethan’s wrist, while curling his other hand into a fist. Then he struck Ethan’s face, throwing as much force and power behind it as possible, given his leverage and angle.

Blood squirted out of Ethan’s nose as his head snapped back. Storm drew back his fist and punched Ethan squarely on the nose again. And again. And again. He heard the sickening crunch and mushy sounds of pounded flesh. His knuckles were coated with blood. That just fueled Storm further.

Ethan’s eyes were trained on Storm. He sneered, more blood dripping out of his nose. Baring his teeth, an arc of blood shot out from his mouth and landed in Storm’s eyes.

Letting out a surprised cry, Storm let go of Ethan, ducking his head to wipe the blood from his eyes.

Ethan crouched down and barreled into Storm, causing both men to crash to the ground. Storm’s head knocked against a table. Sean scrambled to the farthest wall and watched with wide eyes as his father and Ethan rolled around. Something silver caught his eye. Sean’s heart skipped a beat when he realized it was Ethan’s gun. Ethan must have dropped it.

Sean watched as his father’s face slammed against a chair leg. There was blood on both men, but Sean couldn’t tell who it originally came from. He wanted to help his father, but couldn’t get his limbs to work.

Ethan grabbed at the table, his hand reaching for something to hit Storm with. His fingers closed around something cloth like. He yanked at it and silverware flew around them. Utensils. He grabbed the knife with a gleam in his eyes.

“You fucker!” Ethan screamed. “You ruined everything! You ruined everything! I loved him! Fuck you!” He crawled behind Storm, raising the knife high over his head directly over Storm’s back.

“No!” Sean shouted. “Dad, watch out!”

Storm whipped his head around. His eyes widened. Instinctively he flattened himself against the ground.

Sean watched in amazement as three glass cups were thrown at Ethan’s face in quick succession. Each made sharp contact with a loud whack. The cups tumbled to the carpeted floor, rolling away. Sean looked up briefly and caught sight of Chelsea and another waiter holding a tray of wet glass cups.

When Ethan fell backwards, Storm took the opportunity to kick Ethan roughly away, before he half carried half dragged himself to the gun. Storm only saw one way out of this mess. People like Ethan never gave up. He would constantly torment his family. Storm only saw one solution, his eyes trained on the gleaming metal.

Ethan caught sight of Sean with a savage look on his face. Sean, unable to bear Ethan’s eyes on him, jumped onto a table in the corner, hugging his knees to his chest. “Stop. Please stop!”

“Don’t run from me, Sean!” Ethan screamed. “We belong together. Come here!” he commanded.

Storm’s fingertips snatched at the gun handle, fumbling several times before he managed to grasp it in his hand. Turning quickly on his heels, he stood up, his knees locking. “Ethan!” he yelled out.

Ethan’s attention was drawn away from Sean. He lay dumbly on the ground, blinking up at Storm. “You wouldn’t,” he breathed. “You don’t have it in you. I know you: you’re Mr. Perfect, with the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect life. You’re exactly what the world wants me to be, but not everyone is perfect. Perfection is weak and cowardly. You’re too weak to shoo…”

Tears trickled down Storm’s cheeks, but his expression never wavered. It was one of sheer determination. “No,” he breathed defiantly.

A single shot rang out.


 



 

Thanks to Frances for editing! And a special thanks to Pete and Mike for beta-reading and giving me feedback and encouragement.

Copyright © 2011 Tiff; All Rights Reserved.
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  • Site Administrator

I was mentally on the edge of my seat during that last scene. I almost stood up and applauded when Chelsea and the other waiter started their missile attack. So unexpected, but also so brave, since they knew there was a gun.

 

Now we understand the very first scene in the story. Storm will do anything for his family. 

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  • Site Administrator

I have such a sense of relief that it is over. I hope it is over. If Ethan is in fact dead, then that is where he deserves to be.

 

Like Graeme, I was cheering the steak sauce and the glasses being tossed at Ethan. That took guts!

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