AN: Thanks for all the reviews. Here we come to the end of this little story. Victor's got himself a mean streak a mile wide so this is going to get violent...
Chapter 12~ Ending Before I Begin
"So, Mikey," Victor looked at his son across the table, "Do you still like that nickname or do you think it's too young for you now?"
Mickey shrugged. "They called me Michael," he replied.
"You didn't like it?" Victor surmised. Mikey shook his head in agreement.
"Mom called me Mikey," the boy sat down his drink.
Victor smiled, "How much do you remember about her?"
"Not a lot," Mikey said, "They let me watch a movie of my birthday with you and mom and I have pictures of her in her white doctor's coat."
Mel walked over from placing the dishes in the sink, "Can I get you guys anything else?"
"I'm done thanks," Mikey handed her his glass.
"Coffee's enough," Victor said, "Thanks."
"Ok," she went to do the dishes.
"Do you remember what happened the day you were taken?" Victor asked.
"A little. Where were you?" Mikey inquired.
"I had an early morning meeting," Victor answered, "Is that why you thought I was with in the car with Mom?" Mikey held back tears and nodded.
"I thought they had gotten to you first," Mikey admitted, "I… I…"
"It's ok," Victor said, "Just start from what you remember."
"I remember hearing noises," Mikey said, "then standing in the hall… There was this big man…"
"A big man?" Victor inquired, "What was he doing?"
"Carrying something wrapped up… in a comforter I think," Mikey answered, "He went down a few stairs and I saw… It was Mom." Mel nearly dropped the wet plate she was washing. Victor reached out and squeezed Mikey's hand. "Her face was covered in blood," Mikey continued "I know I screamed for her and Mr. Skarloey scooped me up from behind. He covered my mouth… He told me to be quiet and something like I had to go with him. He carried me down and the big man took Mom into the garage- after that everything gets blurry." Victor pushed out from the table and Mikey went to him.
Mel gripped the rim of the sink to compose herself. Victor took Mikey into the living room. Mel wiped her hands on a dishtowel. She found them sitting on the couch. Mel leaned down and hugged Victor from behind, "I'm going to go get a quick shower."
"Ok," Victor replied. After a quick squeeze she let go and made her way up the stairs. Just as she reached the top a wave of nausea hit her. Mel got into the bathroom and sat on the cool tile floor. She closed her eyes and leaned back on the cabinets' door. A question nagged at her as she tried to calm her stomach: How were they going to tell Mikey about the baby?
"When can I go back to school?" Mikey asked.
"I'm not sure," Victor answered, "As soon as we can get it set up."
"I like school," Mikey said.
"They let you go?" Victor asked.
"Yeah," Mikey answered.
"Did you try to talk to someone about what happened or try to run?" Victor inquired.
"I learned real quick not to do either," Mikey looked at the floor. Victor found himself wishing he could kill Ric a second time.
He patted Mikey's shoulder, "It's ok."
"I want to be a doctor," Mikey said.
"Like your mom," Victor replied. Mikey smiled. "Then that's what we'll do," Victor added.
Mel came downstairs from her shower. "I put some new clothes out for you on your bed, Mikey," Mel said.
"Thank you," Mikey replied.
Mel turned to Victor, "I only got him a pair of jeans and a shirt so we need to get him out to pick stuff- maybe this afternoon?"
"Sounds like a plan," Victor said, "What do you say, Mikey? When I get back we'll go to lunch and shop for some things for you."
"You're leaving now?" Mikey's eyes grew big.
"It's only for a little while," Victor said.
"I'm gonna stay with you," Mel offered.
"Your Uncle JD will probably stop by," Victor added, "You remember him, right?" Mikey shook his head. "I won't be gone long," Victor assured his son. He could see Mikey wanted to protest. Victor looked his son in the eyes, "Say what you need to say."
Mikey hesitated, "Please don't leave me."
"I am not leaving you, Mikey- I have to go do my job and that's making sure Skarloey can't hurt you again," Victor replied, "I'll come back."
When Victor arrived at the warehouse he found JD at his post. JD was watching Skarloey through a glass door. He turned his head and acknowledged his mentor. Victor came up beside JD. "Give me an update," Victor requested.
"Skarloey is secured to a chair," JD said, "He passed out about an hour ago."
"Where did Sport and Fiona go?" Victor inquired.
"They went to get breakfast," JD answered, "Skarloey didn't give them much."
"That's too bad," Victor said. He put his hand on his hips and looked through the glass on the door at Skarloey. "I think a visit from his uncle would be good for Mikey," Victor suggested.
"You know Mikey has me whenever he needs me," JD said, "But don't you need me to stay?"
"No, he's mine," Victor replied, "This is something I have to do alone."
"Ok," JD said.
"Go see Mikey," Victor said, "This won't take long."
JD left and Victor went into the room. "Naptime's over," Victor called. Skarloey startled awake. He narrowed his eyes on Victor.
"Missed me already, huh?" Skarloey taunted.
"You're the one that missed," Victor rejoined.
"That's not really a fair assessment with me getting tackled and all," Skarloey countered.
"You didn't hit your target," Victor retorted.
"Blame your paternal instincts," Skarloey shrugged, "How's the shoulder?"
"I'll live. Can't say the same for you," Victor replied.
"So much for Mikey softening you up," Skarloey griped.
"You are very fortunate that I have something better to get back to," Victor said, "There are so many things that I could do." Skarloey glared as Victor unlocked the cuffs that secured the shackles to the chair. Victor aimed his gun. "Get up," he ordered. Skarloey threw his head back and definitely gripped the chair arms. "Come on- let's get the show on the road," Victor waved the gun.
"Here's a good a place to die as any," Skarloey countered. Victor took ahold of the hair on the back of Skarloey's head and yanked him out of the chair. He rammed the bound man into the wall and pressed into him.
"The longer you keep me away from my son the more painful this will be," Victor hissed. He pulled Skarloey away from the wall and forced him through the door.
"You're going to kill me then walk back to him like nothing happened?" Skarloey turned back.
"Mikey needs to know he's safe," Victor pushed him forward.
"Then he'll know you killed someone," Skarloey rejoined.
Just then they came to the cement stairs leading to the floor. Victor gave Skarloey a shove down. "Oops," Victor descended the handful of stairs to Skarloey. By the time Victor was on the same level Skarloey had managed to get up and started to run. Victor grabbed onto the shackles then pulled Skarloey back. He hit Skarloey in the temple with the butt of his gun. Skarloey collapsed onto the cement.
Skarloey woke face down on a tarp. He was still shackled and his shoes were gone. There were footsteps. Skarloey tried to push himself up, but found his shackles linked to the floor.
"How the hell are you any better than me?" Skarloey defended.
"I know I've done some damn despicable things," Victor said, "My family were the innocent ones."
"But I have to pay for my crimes," Skarloey countered.
"You messed with my son!" Victor thundered. He kicked Skarloey in the rib cage, hard, oh so very hard. Skarloey's involuntary scream drowned out the cracking of his ribs as they broke.
"He's still alive," Skarloey coughed out, "He's alright because…"
"Alright? It's not alright– it's not alright that you ripped my family apart- it's not alright that my son was kept from me and treated the way he was," Victor snapped, "It's not alright that Mikey doesn't have Phoebe!"
"Phoebe didn't feel a thing," Skarloey pleaded.
"You're repeating yourself," Victor said.
"It wasn't my idea- I did what I was ordered too," Skarloey retorted.
"And here we are," Victor said. Skarloey heard footsteps. Victor picked something up. From his angle, Skarloey's couldn't make out what it was. Victor kicked him onto his back. Skarloey groaned and closed his eyes momentarily. He heard liquid being poured out and felt it fall on him. That smell… His eyes flashed open. Victor shook out what was left out of the gas can. He lifted another and picked up where he had left off. Victor didn't stop until Skarloey was covered head to toe in kerosene.
Victor reached into his back pocket and brought out a box of matches. "Do you have any idea what fire does to a human body?" Victor slipped out a match and struck it on the side of the box. He held the lit match up and stared at it for a moment. He locked eyes with Skarloey, "Fire melts skin, makes muscles shrink, and when they shrink they cause bones to fracture." A cruel smile tugged at the corners of Victor's lips, "It's a tossup whether shock or pain will kill you first." The bound man began to tremble. Victor dropped the match a step forward and crushed it out with his shoe. Skarloey let out a breath he had unconsciously held. Victor lit another match. He flung it dispassionately onto Skarloey. Skarloey cried out as the fire spread. Another five matches followed in rapid succession. Eyes dark Victor watched the flames consume the bound man. When Skarloey screams had ceased Victor took the gun he had belted from behind his back and emptied the entire clip into Skarloey, one bullet after another.
Mikey ran to the front door as Victor opened it. Victor smiled and pulled him into a crushing hug. Mel was close behind. Victor swooped in and kissed her.
"How did everything go?" Victor asked.
"Great," Mel replied, "JD & Candace came over." Victor nodded to the couple sitting on the couch. They got up and approached the three at the door.
"Mikey was showing us his pictures," Candace said. Mikey nodded. "I think we better head back home," Candace looked to her husband. He yawned in agreement.
"Go home and get some sleep," Victor ordered.
"You got it, Boss," JD saluted, "See ya later, Mikey."
"We'll call you about dinner," Mel added.
"Bye," Mikey said.
"It was nice to meet you," Candace said. She hugged her sister. JD took Candace's hand and they headed out.
"Are you ready to go shopping?" Victor asked.
"Yeah." They got on their shoes and Mikey tugged his old sweatshirt on over his head.
"I see one of our first stops will be to get you a coat," Victor said.
The three walked out to find Michael & Fiona leaning on a car in the parking lot. Mikey was under one of Victor's arms, Mel was on Victor's other side- they were holding hands. They stopped when they came to them.
"Hey, Sport," Victor greeted.
"Hi," Michael replied.
"How are you doing, Mikey?" Fiona asked.
Mikey looked up at Mel then to his father with a smile, "I'm doing well. Thanks."
Victor mussed Mikey's hair, "Why don't you and Mel head to the car- I'll catch up in a minute."
"Ok," Mikey said. Mel led him over to their car.
"The warehouse was empty," Michael said.
"Skarloey is where he belongs," Victor stated.
"Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy," Fiona replied.
"Do you think your friend can keep his mouth shut about me?" Victor asked.
"I'll keep an eye on him," Michael answered.
"Better you than me," Victor remarked.
"I am sure Jesse feels exactly the same way," Fiona said.
"I will be checking in," Victor warned. Michael nodded.
Victor held the disk Skarloey had wanted out to Michael. "What am I supposed to do with this?" Michael took it reluctantly.
"Sic the CIA on whoever Skarloey was working with," Victor suggested, "Or keep the money or hell, give it to charity."
"You could use it yourself," Fiona replied.
Victor looked beyond the two to Mel and Mikey. "I have what I want," Victor said. Victor bid them goodbye and headed off toward his car. Michael & Fiona watched the new little family get in the car and drive off. Michael turned and opened the door for her. Fi smiled at him and got in the passenger seat. Michael smirked and walked around to the driver's side. Putting on his aviators he slid behind the wheel.
The End of the Beginning