Toward the end of the week, I was in the kitchen helping out with some dishes when Bobby came down the stairs. "Kellie, come here a second." He called.
I finished rinsing off the plate and followed him up the stairs into his mother's room, where he was sleeping during his stay. "I want to talk to you about something." He closed the door behind me, motioned for me to sit on the bed, which I did, and sat facing me.
"We're going out tonight, and it's probably going to get bad. We found out it wasn't an accident our mom got shot. Those guys were hired to kill her, and we think we found out who they are. Jack wants to come when we go pay them a visit tonight, and I don't think he'll stay put another day here while we get to go out and 'have all the fun' as he seems to think.
He might see some stuff tonight that he ain't ever seen before; he might not be okay after that." "Bobby, what the hell are you." "Just listen, he's going to need you tonight to really be there for him." "You're talking about killing those people, aren't you?" "It very well might come down to that, and I don't want Jack to be any part of it, but if he's there he's going to have to deal with seeing it happen." "Oh my God, Bobby!" "Our mother, Kellie." His words were gentle yet firm.
"I know. I know." It took me a second to get my thoughts in order. "I'll be here. I'll wait up, no matter how late you get back. Just get back, okay? Don't get killed. For me." He embraced me then, his arms not feeling nearly as good around me as his youngest brother's, but it was a comforting hug nonetheless. "Jackie is one lucky bastard.
I wish I had a girl like you waiting up for me." He said it with complete sincerity, and then followed it with, "tell me, when are you going to stop sleeping in his bed and come stay a night in mine? I could show you a thing or two Jackie doesn't even know can be done." "Oh, Bobby-bear, always so utterly charming. But I just don't know if you can compete where it truly matters most. Sometimes you need more than just the 'motion of the ocean'." I tapped my finger against the crotch of his pants, giving him a joking wink and standing to leave.
"Bobby," I stopped just before I reached the door and turned back to him. "What you said last week about Jack." "About him loving you?" "Yeah. I. Did you mean." "No, I didn't mean like a brother. I love you like a brother, despite how much I tease you and whatnot, that's the only way I see you. He loves you like you are the only girl in the world worth knowing. He just don't know how to show it. Next to him, you're the one who knows best how he grew up.
He never saw a functional relationship in his life. When we left here, you were all he would talk about." "He was touring with his band. There must have been plenty of girls around who." "Who wanted nothing more than to get into a musician's pants? Of course there were.
There are skanks and cheap whores everywhere. And no, Jack didn't pay any attention to them. No matter how much I'd tease him for being a little queer, he never got with any of them. "And, I mean, I don't know why he'd pick you over them.
You won't even wear a dress let alone something sexy. He must think the world of you." My heart was leaping in my chest, though I did everything I could to contain myself. Jack had really meant the number when he'd said it. I gave Bobby little more than a flickering smile before walking out of the room.
That night was one of the longest of my life, though in actuality they didn't get back as late as I had expected.
The clock was only a bit past midnight when Jack's bedroom door opened and he stepped in, closing the door again behind him. He didn't look at me but shrugged off his coat and sat down, starting to untie his shoes. The snow that hadn't yet melted from the warmth of the house was scattered throughout his hair. ".Jack.?" I said, my voice was smaller than I ever remember it being. "Jack?" I moved toward where he sat on the bed, reaching out to touch his arm. "Ja." He pulled away once my hand touched him, but I only moved closer.
"Jack, please." This time he let me rest my hand on his forearm. In that moment, he turned toward me just enough that I could see his eyes were swelling with tears. I could think of nothing good to say to him, and was just beginning to mentally kick myself for being a bad friend when he turned and looked me straight in the eyes.
"They're dead. Bobby and Angel." -- My heart tensed with dread -- "they. they killed them. They killed those guys." -- and released full of relief. "We were in the car and we were just whipping around the road. I thought we were going to die, but then their car flipped and. but they were still alive and then they. Bobby and Angel.
they shot them. I was right there. I saw it. I he.heard it." He was trying to hold back, though a few tears still managed to break free. "Kellie." Jack fell against my chest, wrapping his arms around my middle. I hugged his head, the only part of him in a position for me to hug. For the longest time, we just sat that way. Eventually I started to run my fingers through his hair, enjoying the softness as well as Jack's closeness. After a few moments, he spoke again.
"Kellie, I don't want you to think that I'm. I was there, I went with, and I talk shit, but I could never k-ki." "Jack, those guys deserved to die for what they did.
That's all that matters right now. Bobby and Angel. they did what they felt they had to do. You're a good person." "I went with them knowing what was going to happen." He spoke against my chest through sobs. "Just because I didn't pull the trigger doesn't mean I didn't help kill those guys.
I'm a murderer" "You're not a murderer. You're not a bad person. Those men were hired to kill." I decided against mentioning his mother.
".people; who knows how many. They've killed people in cold blood. You could never do that. I know that, you know that, even your brothers know that. Look at yourself. If you were a bad person you wouldn't be feeling what you're feeling right now. Guilt. Remorse.
You're not." "I'm shit," he interjected, pushing himself away from me. "I'm a pathetic excuse for a human being." "You are a good person." "You're such a liar." "Yeah, and you're a fucking douche bag, but I don't point it out all the time." The statement had it's desired effect.
He stared at me blankly for a second and then began to laugh, and it was a beautiful sound. My heart melted in my chest and I wished for nothing more than to be with him the way I'd always dreamed. It took a moment for his laughing to subside, and when he resurfaced he hugged me. "Thank you for that." I resisted the urge to tell him I would be here to call him a douche bag whenever he needed, and instead hugged him tightly in return. "What do you say we get out of here?
I don't care where we go, just get out for a bit." "Okay." I stood up and looked at the duffel bag of clothing I had brought from home that sat on his floor. "Let me change and we can go." He nodded and walked out of the room, probably off to let Bobby know that we'd be going. I riffled through the bag and found what I was looking for towards the bottom, where I kept the clothes I was pretty sure I would not end up wearing. Slipping out of my sweat pants, t-shirt and cotton undies, I pulled on a black lacy panties and black bra to match.
Over it I slid on the only dress I owned. It was black, hung loose at the skirt and fell mid thigh. The straps came over the shoulder and it fell in a V shape in the front. Finally, I put on my boots which reached almost to my knee. There was no mirror in the room for me to look into, which was probably good as it would have made me feel foolish to see myself dressed in such a way.
I left my hair down, the way that it had been all night, and having no other coat than the battered one I arrived in, I grabbed that and left the room. Bobby sat in the living room at the bottom of the stairs. He looked up at me as I came down and did a bit of a double take.
"Damn." Was all he said. "Don't you dare laugh." Unknown to me, Angel, another of the brothers, was also in the room. "Whoa, Kellie, you're a chick?" "Very funny." "A damn sexy chick, look at you!
Come here." Bobby stood up and motioned for me to come toward him. He spun me around and looked at me from all angles. "I stand very corrected. I now have no doubt in my mind why that little brother of mine would want you." My cheeks flushed and all I could manage in return for his compliment was a smile. Without warning he looked down at my ass, "are you wearing underwear?" He whispered in my ear. I socked him in the arm. "What?! It doesn't look like. you're wearing something lacy under there, aren't you?" I had to stand on my tip toes to get my lips next to his ear.
"Don't be jealous, Bobby-bear." Just then I noticed Jack standing in the door way to the kitchen. His mouth sat slightly open and he was staring straight at me, his eyes moving up and down my frame.
"Wow." He whispered, barely audible. My heart jumped. "So jealous." Bobby teased behind me, pushing me toward the kitchen and patting my ass lightly.
"Jackie! You better get going before she comes to her senses and puts her jeans back on." I stepped closer to Jack. "Ready?" We went to a bar in the neighborhood, the kind with pool tables and dancing. The entire walk there, he barely spoke. Every few minutes he would look down at me, opening his mouth as if to speak, but would end up saying nothing. My legs were freezing by the time we reached the bar, making the warmth of the room amazing.
The inside was fairly crowded, some people sitting at the bar, a good number dancing near the speaker system and a few scattered others playing pool.
I wasn't much for pool, as Jack was well aware, having tried to teach me several times when we were younger and always failing. We stood near the doorway for a moment before Jack leaned down to speak in my ear over the bump of the music.
"Do you want to dance or something?" I nodded in agreement, removing my coat and hanging it on the guest rack. Jack had a zip up sweater on over his black t-shirt but he left that on. He led me between the pool tables and to the dance floor with his hand on the small of my back.
My head was swimming; his touch gave me goosebumps. Soon we were in the middle of the floor, completely surrounded by others dancing to the uptempo music. At first, I felt that I must have looked foolish, having no idea what I was doing, but I just swayed my hips to the music and smiled when I saw that Jack was doing the same.
We were close, but not touching. I came into more contact with the other people around me that I did him. About half way through the second song, he leaned down towards me, placing his hands on my sides as he did to pull me closer. "You look amazing tonight." His lips just barely brushed my ear as he said it. The sensation was almost more than I could take. Every inch of my body tingled; the sound of his voice alone was enough to send chills down my spine.
A smile was all I could manage in reply. He kept his hands on my sides as we danced in rhythm with each other, our eyes locked together the entire time. I traced my fingers along his arms, thinking about how amazing it felt when they were around me.
Biting my bottom lip, it was all but impossible to suppress a smile. I lost track of the number of songs that had gone by when he slid his hands lower to rest on my hips. In response, I wrapped my hands around his upper arms, causing us to dance much closer while still looking into the other's eyes.
Our hips ground together, getting me more excited by the second.
Just as I was thinking I couldn't take much more of it, he leaned down against my ear again. "I'll be right back, I've got to." He smirked awkwardly ".bathroom. Are you okay here?" I nodded with a smile, "I'll be fine." Giving my hips a tiny squeeze, Jack walked away from me, stopping only briefly to look back.
I couldn't help but get a little giddy. Only a few seconds passed when another guy walked up behind me and started dancing.
"Hey there, sweet thing," he said, "how about I help you have a good time? Girl like you shouldn't be out all alone." His breath was on the back of my neck as he placed a hand on my side, where Jack's had been not long before.
I tried to pull away from him, but he held tight, keeping me close to his body. "No thanks. I've already got a dance partner." "Well, if he were any good, he never would have left a thing like you all by your lonesome." He ground himself against me, causing my heart to jump in an unpleasant way. "I can take care of myself." "Hey, aren't you that girl that use to hang out with those Mercer boys all the time?
I don't remember you ever being so sexy." His fingers slid across my neck as he moved my hair behind my shoulder, bringing his lips close to my neck. Jerking my shoulder to the side, I tried to get out of his grip. "I do still hang with the Mercer boys, and I happen to be here with one of them." Normally, I don't scare so easily, but realizing I was alone in the middle of the night and surrounded by drunks was not comforting.
I hoped the statement came off as threatening. I was finally able to turn, getting him in front of me instead of behind. "Oh yes," he chuckled, stopping my retreat with my front to him and pulling me closer. "I'm sure you are.
Everyone knows they skipped town a while ago." "Just as I'm sure everyone knows they came back for their mother's funeral." His hands were trying to explore a bit too much now. "It's not nice to lie, honey." Pressing his lips against my ear gave the exact opposite effect as it did when Jack had done it.
"Just let loose, have a little fun." There was a hand on my shoulder. "Mind if I steal this one back?" The deep voice was unmistakable, even as he yelled over the music. Relief sank through me. The guy who had been trying to dance with me looked up, a bit startled. "You alright?" He said into my ear. I nodded, glancing up at him and then back to the guy in front of me who still had his hands on my sides. "Go on, man. This beauty came with me, and that's how she's going to leave, so you should probably let go of her now." There was no threat in Jack's voice, but it was obvious that there would be soon.
He may have been significantly less violent and troublesome than Bobby or Angel, but he had always been the most protective of me, especially when it came to guys who wanted more than their welcome. Slowly, the guy dropped his hands away from me and took a step backwards. Jack continued to stare at him until he moved away completely. "Sure you're okay?" He placed his hands back on my sides from behind, feeling warm as always, and leaned into my ear to speak.
"I could hunt him down and beat him up if he got too friendly." With an amused smile, I shook my head, leaning back to get closer to his ear.
You saw the worst of it, aside from him asking when I got so sexy. Creep." Jack's laugh was hearty, and I could feel it in his hands. "But really, 'this beauty'?" I said the words as if they were foul and disgusting.
His lips were against my ear, letting me feel his smile. It sent shivers down my spine. "I did tell you you look amazing, didn't I? And shouldn't you be more appreciative of me getting that guy to retreat?" I batted my eyes at him melodramatically and put a mockingly sweet tone in my voice.
"Oh Jack Mercer, you're my hero." "Alright, come on Miss Sarcasm, let's dance some more." Before he could move back in front of me, I placed my hands over his and, before I could second guess myself, started swaying my hips again. Mere inches separated our bodies. At first he did not move, though he left his hands on me. I glanced over my shoulder at him with what I hoped was a coy smile. Jack's eye had been on our hands and my hips, but when he saw me turn they came up slowly to my own.
The same expression that had been on his face when I came down the stairs at his house was back, though he quickly replaced it with a smile of his own. Pulling me backward gently, he moved in rhythm with me, my back flat against his firm chest. Once again his hands fell to my hips. I was grinding against him in time with the music, feeling his own excitement growing through his jeans.
I leaned back further and traced my fingers against the side of his face before wrapping my fingers behind his neck. Our eyes locked. His mouth hung slightly open as he looked at me, and his breathing had sped up, just like my own.
After a moment, he nestled his face in the crook of my neck, not kissing but holding me closer and tickling me with his warm breath. My hips moved in circles against him, leaving me biting my bottom lip in an attempt to contain all the thoughts and desires going through my head. He moved with me, and everyone else in the overly crowded room was gone.
His erection was firm against my ass as I pushed back into him, rubbing in circles, moving up and down.
One of his hands slid forward, resting flat on my stomach, just below my abs, his other hand settling on my side a little shy of by breast. He was pulling me closer to him.
I rubbed against him a bit more firmly, with the added tease of moving a bit slower. Against my neck, he let out a small groan. A million dirty thoughts swam through my head. After a few songs, his lips moved upward, once again finding my ear. "Thank you, Kellie." He whispered, "I really needed this." I didn't want to mistake his meaning; the night was too good to be true. "Of course, Jack. I know you needed to get out of the house, and you really needed a distraction." I called over the music.
"No. No, not that. I." The next song to start was even louder than the others, and his voice was lost. I motioned to him that I couldn't hear what he was saying, so he grabbed my hand and pulled me into a tiny hallway near the back. He turned me so my back was up against the wall, and he stood just inches in front of me. The music still echoed off the walls, but it was not nearly as loud as it had been before.
"What I was trying to say was that. I didn't mean getting out of the house and getting my mind off things. I meant thank you for dressing up and dancing with me like that and letting me hold onto you and that other night in bed because it. well it made me think that Bobby might have been right." I looked at him, bewildered as to what he was trying to say.
"Right about what?" "About." and before I even had time to think, his hand was on the back on my neck pulling me forward and our lips pressed together. It was a kiss full of pure passion. With one hand still on my neck, he moved his other to the small of my back and pulled our bodies together. My heart was racing. The taste of his lips was intoxicating, making me want more.
I rose my hands to his neck, loving the softness of his skin, and holding him close to me. A thousand thoughts flew through my head. His strong body was pressed up against my own. His mouth widened, and mine followed, allowing the kiss to deepen even further. The hand against the back of my neck snaked up into my hair, slipping through it gently. After an eternity, the kiss stopped and he pulled away. "About you being okay with me doing that." "The only thing I'm not okay with is how long it took you to finally do it." With a smile, he leaned down to kiss me again, but right before our lips touched, there was a gun shot from the bar.
We both jumped and turned to see people running in every direction, trying to get out of the way. "Jack?" "Come on, let's get out of here." The nearest exit was toward the pandemonium, so that was the way we ran. Just was we got out of the hallway, my foot was hooked on someone else's and I fell, landing hard on my elbow. With so many people running by, I wasn't sure I'd be able to get up, so my instinct was to throw my arms over the back of my head to protect from the footsteps of others.
Jack appeared above me and grabbed me around the middle, lifting me to a standing position. "Back door." was all he said. He grabbed my hand again and pulled me away, dashing out the door. We made it a few blocks down a dark alleyway before he stopped us behind the stairs of a fire escape. "Are you okay? I'm so sorry I let you fall.
Did you get hurt?" He ran his fingers across my cheek and looked down at me as if assessing damage.
I shook my head, trying to catch my breath. "I'm fine." I was shivering from the cold -- my coat was still hanging on the rack at the bar -- but I don't think that was the only reason Jack wrapped his arms around me so tightly.
Like when I first crawled through his window, he rubbed his hands up and down my arms. "Are you sure you're okay?" "Jack, I'm fine." I tried to sound as reassuring as possible, but that was hard to do when I was shaking so heavily. "God, Kells, you're freezing, take my sweatshirt." "No, if I do that then you'll just be cold." "Kell, I'm wearing just a tad bit more clothing than you are.
Just take it." I shook my head. Without notice, he pulled me into him with one arm and was kissing me again. This time, his tongue snaked past my lips. My knees almost gave out, and had he not crushed me against his own body, I likely would have fallen to the floor. A ripple moved between my legs. But before it went any further, he pulled away. "You touched it last, guess it's yours." I looked at him, confused, and noticed he was no longer wearing this sweatshirt.
It was then that I felt the weight of the fabric on my own shoulders.
"Come on, let's go." He said with a wink. Accepting defeat, I slipped my arms through the sleeves of the sweatshirt. With a smile, he pressed his lips to my forehead and we left.