A/N: Oh. My. Gosh! Guys! You all shocked me to bits on my last story! Thank ya'll so much for the read, reviews, and support! I am so glad everyone enjoyed it and even more so, was like almost begging for a sequel! I honestly didn't know it would have such an effect, but my gosh guys thanks so much. Anything to get more Jemily out there! Well due to popular demand...You asked...You waited...Now, you got it! The sequel to Amidst the Two Graves! And for an extra bonus treat, this story is going to be a collaboration with the lovely author InfinityxInfinity777. Check her stories they are awesome!
Disclaimer: I don't own Revenge. ABC Studios and Mike Kelley did and I STILL miss it greatly!
It has been said that life is unpredictable and full of surprises…If that's truly the case, then assumptions must be one of life's evil phenomenons. When we encounter a time where life flows at a settled pace like an undisturbed river, it is easy to see what is up ahead. We may even try to predict certain things with a surety whether based upon past experiences or just how things appear at the moment, that we will be right no matter what…We believe that our perspective is correct and that our assumptions hold value…But assumptions are never absolute. And when we turn out to be wrong, control slips through our grasp…Leaving us helpless…And at a loss for what to do next…Depending on the severity, assumptions hold an incredible ability for destruction. It can be as subtle as destroying the deepest of trusting relationships, or even prove to be life threatening…
Deep within the confines of a dark, frigid, and abandoned warehouse basement, three figures, two men and a woman, could be seen running and climbing up multiple heavy wooden crates that cluttered the area, desperately trying to reach the dust covered window high above them that would lead to their freedom as time worked against them with every second that passed.
The first man paused reluctantly as he tried to process the physical taxing task before him of climbing up the wooden crates that although led to their desired escape, were positioned even higher and slightly off balance, posing as an infuriating risk for not only him, since physical and athletic skills were not really his bests strengths, but for the man and woman that lagged behind him also. The other man shared his look of slight panic while simultaneously trying to keep the woman calm with his reassuring grip on her hand, and holding his still bleeding shoulder.
The first man then turned his fearful gaze to the woman, as if hoping and praying that she would be the answer for the problem at hand or at least the source for a valuable solution, but his dismay only worsened as she too shared a look of fear and slight hopelessness within her eyes that were heavy with exhaustion.
The merciless ticking sound that resonated from the unexpected explosive not too far off increased the stress and severity of the situation as they were all reminded of their impending demise.
Time was of the essence…
Their hearts raced faster and their eyes widened with horror as the bomb continued to countdown…
A few weeks earlier…
"Aand…with the headlines blaring with the same news in every paper for all the world to see, I believe the countdown to a successful takedown victory is complete! Please feel free to praise my awesomeness accordingly before I break into a chorus of 'I told you so's" Nolan Ross smiled with pride as he threw his newspaper aside, adjusted his Bluetooth, and spun a full circle in his computer chair.
"Alright, alright! Fine…You were right and I was wrong…" A deep voice sighed on the other line.
"Now, now Patty's boy, no need to make it sound like a chore! These are happy times upon us, well mainly for you since it brings you a huge step closer to exonerating your mother dearest." Nolan replied.
"I told you about calling me that…I would prefer to be called Johnathan Doe please; it's less hassle while still concealing my real identity." Mrs. Patterson's son stated seriously.
"And will we ever get to know your actual name Mr. Mysterious? Even Louise seems desperate to find out the man behind the mask of the anonymous momma's boy wonder." Nolan said, smiling at the sound of the adorable chuckle he heard from the other line.
"Yeah, I'm afraid not. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't trust you guys! You guys are probably the only ones I can afford to trust…not to mention the only actual real best friends I've ever had…But even so…just the slightest slip up or risk can ruin everything and I don't want to put you guys in that sort of danger you know?" John explained with empathy in his voice.
"Say no more my friend, I know all about what it's like to be a part of an identity crisis…in more ways than one…" Nolan mumbled but then smiled brightly. "So Johnie-boy it is then!"
"I gotta' admit, that was a pretty smooth move that you did there though! Having the Chairman of the Board participate in one of Amanda's charity functions to promote his public image while you took advantage of his payment method? Genius!" John eagerly praised, changing the subject.
Nolan shrugged. "Well, I simply just took an opportunity when it called out to me! I mean though I am technically the technology guru of the universe, even I know not to rely on it when it comes to finances…Luckily for us, he proved to be the idiot that didn't get the memo."
"Well I believe a big thank you also goes to Amanda and Jack for pitching in too."
"Oh no, no, no. As much as I agree with you, they strictly stated that they were out of the takedown business and wanted no such glory. Though I'm sure they would appreciate being a part of the fortunate circumstances at hand. Even Ams told me recently that they were happy to help for the good of the cause."
"Well, be that as it may, the fight is far from over…Now I bet that power hungry son of a bitch is just waiting and eager to retaliate. He's probably plotting a comeback as we speak…" John stated seriously.
"Now, now, now! Why must you be such a negative Nancy before even doing a victory dance?! There's nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses my friend; especially when you've come so far. I know your mother wouldn't want you to run yourself ragged after all…I sure don't…" Nolan mumbled softly with concern. "And Louise either of course!" He rushed the last part before blushing.
"…I wish I could share your enthusiasm Nols. But it's just not that simple…And also, I think it's best if I lay low for a little while. Just until this whole thing blows over and we can hit him with a counter attack if need be." John replied softly.
"Wait, whoa, whoa whoa. Hold on. Does this mean that you won't be coming over tonight?" Nolan asked in disbelief.
"But…We were all supposed to enjoy a victory dinner! You know what this means don't you? You're going to miss out on Louise's cooking! Did you forget how she is when she spends all of her time and effort slaving over a hot stove in vain?!" Nolan stressed.
"Well bless my soul, is that Johnie-John on the phone?!" An excited southern drawl sounded from the other room as the sound of heels clicked in Nolan's direction.
"The one and only, and guess what? He's got an announcement to make." Nolan smirked, hearing the uncomfortable gulp on the other line.
"Well gol-ly we're already bustling and burstin' at the seams with the news of that money hungry varmint being caught, I mean what else could sweeten such a moment? I mean besides my mouth waterin' homemade apple pie in the oven of course! Ooh I just can't wait for you darlins to taste it! You will not believe the struggle I went through in preparin' this meal! I made it extra special for you Johnie John." She flirted as she batted her eyelashes at Nolan's phone, ignoring his sudden eye roll.
"Umm…I'm sure it's gonna' be delicious Lou-Lou, umm…listen…about dinner…I-"
"-can't wait to sink your teeth in it? Well baby doll I can't blame ya! We Savannah folks take pride in puttin' love and hospitality in every single bite that you savor. And boy let me tell you right now, you are gonna' be itchin' to taste my world famous gumbo with a side of fresh baked rolls just oozin' with butter! It's not very healthy for the arteries, but it's just one of those sinful pleasures you can't go without. Oh and don't get me started on the appetizer-"
"Lou-Lou! Lou-Lou! Listen…about dinner…Umm...I-I'm sure that you put a lot of effort into it and…I'm very appreciative and would like nothing more than to spend time with you and Nols, but…Oh god how do I put this…" John stuttered uneasily.
"He's not coming tonight." Nolan finished for him with an evil smirk on his face.
Silence filled the room at that moment before Louise closed her eyes and took an indignant breath through her nose. "Say what now?" She started out in a low tone of voice, before chuckling in disbelief. "I'm sorry my ears must be foolin' me cause I know I didn't just hear that you won't be joinin' us for the victory dinner that I made for us tonight?!" her voice raised in octaves as she glared at the phone.
Nolan held in his chuckles as the line suddenly went dead despite Louise's constant fussing.
"Dag nam it! And to think I worked all day trying to get the ingredients to mix in just right! Do you know how hard it is to get that perfect simmer in an old fashioned gumbo done the right way?! When I get my hands on him…I'm a hang him by his unmentionables!" Louise huffed.
Nolan put his hands on her shoulders, rubbing them in an attempt to comfort her. "Now, now easy there cowgirl! Let's save the lasso lashing for later shall we? Besides, more for us right?"
"But Nols, it was supposed to be a victory dinner for all of us together!" She whined.
"Well, look at it this way…We can make it another one of our wonder twin nights! You like those don't you?" He cooed.
"Well…we are due for one of those…or two…or more…" She smiled a little.
"That's the spirit! Now turn that frown upside down and bring on a bowl of that good old fashioned cookin'!" He smiled.
"You got it Sugar! Wonder Twins activate?" She held out a fist.
"Ready for action like always!" Nolan finished bumping his fist with hers and bopping her on the nose with his finger.
Meanwhile, somewhere in New York outside of the Hamptons…
"Let's see…The spoon goes over on the right…or was it the left of the water glass? Ugh! Forget it. I'll just do this." A nine year old Carl Porter mumbled as he switched silverware back and forth on the nicely set table.
"There! All done! It's perfect! What do you think Skip?" Carl chuckled as the bright light yellow Labrador retriever barked in reply.
"I agree! This should do the trick for sure!" He smiled as he rubbed the dog's back.
He suddenly heard the sound of a yawn and footsteps come into the kitchen.
Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Jack Porter suddenly paused as he took in the sight of the kitchen. His eyes widened as they darted around the area and eventually landed on his smiling son.
"Morning dad! Isn't it a beautiful day?" Carl said cheerfully.
"…The kitchen's clean…" He stated with incredulity.
"Yep! And that's not all! I took out the trash, set the table, and poured you a glass of your favorite juice! I would have gotten you coffee, but I'm not allowed to touch the coffee maker so…this was the next best thing." He explained, not losing the cheerfulness.
Jack gave him a skeptic look. "Okay. What do you want and how much does it cost?"
Carl feigned a dramatic gasp and held a hand over his chest. "Dad! How could you?! You wound me so! I am hurt that you would even think of me having another motive for these acts of kindness! Can't a guy just do something nice for his hard working father and sick mother from the goodness of his heart for a change?"
Jack just blinked tiredly at him, but sighed with a small smile of amusement as he nodded slowly. "Alright. I'll bite. Well in that case, thank you. It was very thoughtful of you…Especially since this kind of thing is what we've been asking you to do on a normal basis and usually goes ignored…" He mumbled the last part under his breath.
"No problem dad! It's my pleasure!" Carl smiled brightly and sat at the table.
"Well, I better get started on breakfast before I drop you off at school." Jack stated while taking out various pans and setting them onto the counter.
"Wait, I thought mom was going to be cooking today." Carl raised an eyebrow.
"Well she wanted to, but she's knocked out right now; which is good since she needs her rest to recover from that awful bug she's got. Sailing did not make it any better. I knew I should have postponed it…" Jack chastised himself.
"Aw come on dad, you know how mom is. Once she's got her mind made up, you can't tell her anything! Which is why she's going to be really mad at you when she finds out that you didn't wake her up to make breakfast." Carl replied with a mischievous smile.
"-Which is why we're not going to say anything about it. Right? Sailor's promise?" Jack winked making his son chuckle and dog bark happily.
Before the boys could enjoy the plentiful stack of blueberry pancakes, they heard the sound of a light groan and footsteps enter the kitchen only for it to be Amanda Porter as she slowly trudged her way to the table.
"Mm what's going on here?"
"Babe! Hey! Wow….didn't expect you to be up…" Jack greeted uneasily.
"Morning mom!" Carl greeted happily. Skipper barked in greeting.
"Carl? Guys? What are you doing up so early? Wait a minute…what time is it?!" She panicked as her eyes darted towards the microwave clock. "Oh no! Buddy I'm so sorry! I got up too late to make you breakfast! You have to be at school in the next 20 minutes!"
"No worries mom! Dad took care of it for you so I've got plenty of time!" He replied.
"…Oh did he?" Amanda folded her arms.
"What happened to the sailor's promise?!" Jack gritted through his teeth as he leaned towards his son.
"Dad, you're the sailor. Not me. I like race cars remember?" Carl whispered back.
Before Jack could glare in reply, his wife swatted him on the shoulder. "You should have gotten me up! You're working hard enough already Honey, so it was my turn to make breakfast!"
"Like you could do anything after nearly spending the entire night going back and forth to the bathroom…Ams, look, it's fine. You needed the rest and I don't mind doing the cooking for a change. " Jack retorted dryly.
Amanda rolled her eyes but relented as she sat down next to him and grabbed her share of the pancakes, only to immediately push them away as she put a hand to her stomach.
"Sweetie, are you okay?" Jack put a comforting hand on her shoulder in concern.
"Yeah…yeah I guess I'm just not as hungry as I thought…" She replied as she gave a smile of reassurance.
"You? Not being hungry for dad's blueberry pancakes? Wow! You MUST not be feeling well at all! Carl exclaimed with disbelief and concern.
"I'm fine buddy. Don't worry about me guys. You boys just enjoy it instead. I'm more thirsty than hungry anyways…" She took a sip of water and rubbed Skipper's head as he approached her seat. "Mm, hey I couldn't help but notice that the kitchen was unusually tidy today! Did you do that Jack?"
"Not me. That was all him." He replied after taking a bite of his food and pointed to his son.
"Carl?!" She exclaimed in shock and disbelief as she did a double take at her stepson. "That was you?!"
The boy nodded pridefully.
Amanda blinked. "Wow…I honestly don't know what to say…That's…so unlike you…At least not without being told…"
"Yeah dear, he wanted to do something nice for us…without any ulterior motive involved. Isn't that right Bud?" Jack smiled suspiciously at his son as he took a sip of his orange juice.
"Well…yeah, but now that you mentioned it…there might have been just a little favor I wanted to ask…?" Carl started sheepishly as he twiddled his thumbs.
"What happened to just doing all of this from the goodness of your heart?" Jack deadpanned with a pointed look.
"Well…it's that too…I just thought that it would help change your mind in case you said no?" Carl hesitated with a guilty smile.
"Well that backfired quickly for you then." Jack glowered.
"Jack, come on…" Amanda soothed and turned to her stepson. "Tell us what you want Carl. But next time, just ask us instead of trying to manipulate a good outcome okay?"
"Yes mom. Sorry. Well, everyone on the baseball team is going to be busy this weekend and Joey asked if I wanted to go camping with him on Saturday. I didn't want to say yes yet until I got permission so…Can I go? Please?" Carl pleaded.
"We'll see." Jack answered shortly.
Carl pouted. "That always means no!"
"No, it means we'll see. Despite your generous act in cleaning the kitchen, you still have a bunch of chores to get done that we've been asking you to complete." Jack explained.
"Plus we have to make sure that Joey's mother is okay with it since she probably planned that camping trip for her family all the way out of town. You don't want to intrude." Amanda added.
"I-I can get all of my chores done today after school in no time! That's not a problem! And Joey's mom was the one who suggested it! Please dad and mom can I go?! Everyone at school has plans for the weekend and people to play with but me! It gets lonely without any brothers or sisters to hang around and I just want something to do! Please?!" Carl pleaded in haste.
Jack stiffened at the words, "brothers and sisters" and looked over to his wife to see her suddenly wince and look down as if trying to hide her expression.
"Amanda…" He tried to reach for her.
"I'm sorry…Can I excuse myself for a moment?" She asked quietly.
"Are you okay mom?" Carl asked with concern at the sudden mood change.
"Y-yeah buddy I just…It's the flu acting up again…I guess I just need more rest after all…You have a good day at school okay? I love you." She got up, kissed Carl's forehead quickly, pecked her husband on the lips, and left without another word.
"…I did something wrong didn't I?" Carl asked sadly.
"…What do you mean Kiddo? Why would you say that?" Jack answered not looking away from the staircase where his wife hasted up the steps.
"…She didn't do the infinity phrase…She always does the infinity times infinity phrase before I go to school…" Carl looked down.
"She's just not feeling good right now buddy…Did you want me to do it with you instead?" Jack asked softly.
Carl shrugged but shook his head. "Mm…no thanks dad. It's not the same…Are you sure she's going to be alright?"
"She'll be fine. Don't worry." Jack reassured and rubbed his son's shoulder in comfort. "Come on, we need to get going before you're late for school."
"Kay…Soo…dad?" Carl started.
Jack looked at him in acknowledgement. "Yeah Bud?"
"Can I go with Joey this weekend please?!" Carl pleaded once more with a hopeful smile.
"We'll see." Jack replied shortly once more.
"Aw but that always means no!" Carl whined as he got up from the table to retrieve his backpack.
"No, I told you it means we'll see. Now let's get movin'. Skipper, watch the house and keep an eye on Ams for us." His father ordered as he fetched his car keys from the counter. The dog barked a few times in reply and sprinted towards the staircase.
Meanwhile somewhere on the other side of town…
"So? What did you think?" An eager and slightly desperate Charlotte Clarke paced her condominium marble floors as she adjusted her cell phone to her ear and flipped through the papers in her hand. She heard a sigh from the other line.
"That's a hefty accusation you've got there Sweetheart…Are you sure about jumping to conclusions like that so soon?"
"Stevie come on! You heard me read all of the letters! You cannot tell me that it all doesn't sound suspicious and that Victoria doesn't sound guilty as hell!"
She heard the woman hum thoughtfully. "Well I certainly wouldn't put something that sounds so underhanded past Victoria Grayson. But still, if all you have are letters that state no actual confession, it's going to be hard to prove your point. Not only do you lack enough evidence to support your claim, but one of the guilty parties is dead, while the other is unknown. So, there's not much to go off of."
"I've got plenty to go off of! There's obvious proof of financial agreements and exchanges and the money involved is clearly a bribery to falsify Emily's-I mean- Amanda's medical records! That's medical fraud! I mean honestly! Having the nerve of stooping so low as to fake a report of infertility! Victoria must have known that Amanda had always wanted children! Gosh I hate her!" Charlotte shook her head in anger.
"Well didn't Amanda fake a pregnancy to keep Daniel around as part of her vendetta against the Graysons?"
"I'm not saying that what she or my mom did was right! But Amanda's changed! And not to mention her purpose was warranted this whole time. You remember how ruthless my family was! Nothing could get past them without them knowing about it or putting an end to it! Hell, if I were in her shoes and was as desperate as she was, I probably would have done the same thing I don't know!" Charlotte exclaimed.
"You make a valid point. But be that as it may, the fact remains that there's still little evidence to go off of and if you are serious about pursuing this further, you're going to need to dig a little bit deeper." Stevie stated.
"I'm way ahead of you. I'm going to text Nolan to look into the details and see if he can give me a lead to track this so called 'unknown status' physician down. Once I find him, that bastard's going to pay for what he's done to my sister." Charlotte glared.
"Hey now, careful Sweetheart. You're starting to sound an awful lot like how your sister used to act. Keep the goal of justice in mind; not retribution. I think we all have learned from Amanda's experience that it leads to nowhere but disaster." Stevie warned her sternly.
"…You're right…It's just…how can someone do something like that and get away with it?" Charlotte asked softly.
"It's a cruel world we live in. And furthermore, I just don't want you giving your hopes up if you don't find anything…and even more so…if there is nothing to find in the first place…" Stevie said with reluctance.
"What do you mean by that?" Charlotte asked with an eyebrow raised.
"Well…If the case may be that a fraud has taken place with Amanda's records, it's been quite a while that it went undiscovered until now which means that you might run into a lot of dead ends. Not to mention that it's been over 9 years since the shooting on the boat; 7 since my son married your sister, and I have no doubt that they have been trying hard for years for a baby, but there have been no results…My point is, you just need to be ready to face the harsh reality about your sister if that is the case." Stevie explained gently.
Later that night, somewhere deep in the alleys of the city…
"I don't care if you have to bait the bastards with over a million dollars from the VP's personal account! I want those hackers responsible in your line of sight, traced, tracked down, and dealt with within the hour! THAT'S NOT A REQUEST! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS AT STAKE HERE IF NEWS OF THIS LEAKS OUT! IT'S GOING TO BE ALL OF OUR HEADS DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF!" Shouted the middle aged man known as the Chairman of the Board that was currently under the media's fire as he hid behind an alley trashcan in a futile attempt to avoid the ever starving paparazzi as they were hot on his trail.
Ever since his financial activities were mysteriously exposed, he vowed to use all of his status power to see the ones responsible burn in hell for it.
That is if he didn't burn first…
Along with the current destruction of his public and financial image came an even bigger threat since he played a huge part in not only Patterson's frame up and embezzlement, but was also supposed to be the ever suave handler who would ensure the safe deposit of every last penny embezzled into the account of an extremely powerful yet dangerous mafia organization known as the Black Mamba organization. The senior executive knew that he was currently under investigation by the government and even more so, what would happen once the feds caught wind of his involvement with such people. He wondered what would be worse: being at hands of the justice system, his public image being destroyed article by article and tweet by tweet, or if the mafia showed just even a shred of doubt of his abilities and sent a snitch after him for reassurance only for the said snitch to read the local newspaper…
At this point, he could pick and choose his demise as it was laid out for him on a silver platter.
"Well…this is quite disappointing…"
The senior executive jumped and turned around at the deep voice only to back away in a haste, his back knocking over the trashcan bins.
"I have to say…despite the unfortunate circumstances, only you can pull off making a plaid tie look sharp…Bravo Mr. Chairman of the Board…" The deep voice chuckled as it remained in the shadows.
"M-Mr. Becker…S-sir…I-I can explain everything please!" The senior begged on his knees, not caring if he ruined his Ermenegildo Zegna brand suit pants.
The deep voice belonging to the man named Becker chortled from his position in the shadows. "Now, now calm down Lyle…It's your lucky night don't you know…Usually I would be responsible for turning you over to the big guy and letting him deal with you. But seeing how the severity of your screw up is so critical…Even I cringe at what he'll do to you…and your family and their families…and pretty much your entire generation in one night…So, I'll make a deal with you. Just give me a name."
"A-n-name?" the middle-aged man stuttered.
"Give. Me. The. Name. Of. The. One. Responsible. For. The. Leak." Becker demanded in a low snarl.
"I-I-w-was actually in the p-process of getting that informa-"
"-Are you trying to say that you don't know who did it?" Becker asked dryly, cutting him off.
"I should have the information within the hour if not less than an hour! I-I'll have the name and everything else you or your boss could ever want on the bastard! I swear! And once we have it, whoever it is, we'll make them pay!" The middle-aged man stuttered in an attempt to reassure Becker.
Becker smiled. "Hmm…well then. Consider this your mercy since I won't turn you in."
Before the senior executive could exhale a breath of relief, he fell back to the ground in a pool of his own blood as his chest was penetrated by a series of bullets.
"You're welcome buddy." Becker smiled as he put away his silencer in his dark trench coat and stepped out of the shadows. He then noticed the fancy iPhone vibrating in the puddle of blood. He picked it up and swiped to answer.
"Sir, you'll be happy to know that we were able to dig up something on the hacker!"
"Oh really? Well, Mr. Chairman of the Board is unavailable at the moment, but I would be more than happy to relay the message…" Becker smiled deviously.
To be continued.