4:30 A. M.-Belfast, Ireland
The land line phone rings six times finally waking the 90 year old recipient.
"Hello?" the elderly man becomes enraged, "You got a hell of a nerve calling me. The last time I saw you I told you the only time I want to hear from you or about you is when you're dead." The man, let's the caller finally speak, "What? Yeah, I've been keeping up. I know he has only one appeal left." He pauses, "I'll act when it is completely necessary and not before then." the older man sits up more steadily, "Look I told him I wouldn't interfere in his life. But I have been kept well abreast of what is going on. Are you telling me the date has been set, because if I devise something I can't un-implement it." He then sighed, "Alright. Send me all the intel you got. I'll call my pilot and should be in the air by noon the latest arriving in The States, late tomorrow night." He was about to hang up, but added, "Oh, and by the way if you're lying to me you'll get the full prison treatment and nobody is changing my mind."
After hearing the phone receiver put back down, an 89 year-old woman sat up in bed and questioned the man, "Jackson who was that?"
"The worst thing that could ever happen to our daughter." Jackson put on his robe.
"Oh, no. You mean…" the woman gasped and swallowed hard.
"Oh, yes. Clyde." He started to open the closet doors.
"What does he want?" the elderly woman started to get out of bed.
Jackson sighed painfully, "Avery, I've been trying to not upset you. I mean with all we've been dealing with."
"I know you've been keeping something from me lately, but I assumed it was Club Business and not my place."
He then sat down on the bed with her, "It's Oliver, Honey." He steeled himself," He's in big trouble."
"How big?" Avery tried to brace herself but broke into uncontrollable sobs as she heard the news.
Jackson put his arms around her, trying to comfort her, "Baby, I'm sorry I kept this from you. I was hoping to get this straightened out. But I promise you I'm getting our Boy out of there. I've never broken a promise to you or our children or grandchildren. I am John Jackson Balfour and I will get our Oliver out and pay back the bastard who took our Tammy Sue and framed Melanie's son for her murder."
Avery tried to be brave at her husband's words as she looked at the picture on the dresser of Melanie, a teenage Tammy Sue and young Oliver.
Three Days Later-Skyler, Illinois
Avery watched from the kitchen as one of the Club Members left without waiting for a cup of coffee she promised them. An action alone that piqued her suspicion.
She went into the dining room, and saw her husband's laptop computer open with a picture of a young woman on the screen.
"Jackson? Who is that girl?
Jackson closed his computer, "She's potential payback."
"Payback? Payback for what?" Avery felt faint.
"You know I don't discuss my business." Jackson would not meet her gaze.
"Jackson is this business regarding Oliver?" she became impatient, "How is she involve?"
Jackson was stoic, "Just that if I can't save our grandson from death. That young lady's grandfather will know exactly what we'll be going through." He made an off the cuff remark, "Provide there is a body to be buried of course."
Avery was horrified, "What are you saying? Jackson no! You can't use an innocent girl as payback."
"Our grandson is innocent. I always say let the punishment fit the crime. If we have to mourn our grandson then Victor Kiriakis will be mourning his granddaughter. He brought this on her let him live with it." Jackson stormed out of the dining room and headed upstairs."
Avery went to the china cabinet grabbed a handful of family china plates left to her by her late mother-in-law, "Forgive me Molly." And then slammed them to the floor.
Four Hours later outside of the Brady Pub, Ciara put her phone in her purse and prepared to go see Ben at Statesville. She was about to walk to her bike when she was approached by a teenage girl of about 17 years-old with long brown hair.
"Hi, are you Ciara Brady?"
Ciara was taken aback and stunned. She hesitated then answered, "Yes."
A blond young woman in her late twenties then came up behind her and held a knife to her lower back, "I'm sorry but you'll need to come with us."
An Hour Later-Statesville Prison
Ben hid his eagerness as he went to the visitor's room, counting the minutes until he could see Ciara. His joy turned to confusion as he saw a man in his late twenties sitting down instead.
As the door closed, Ben expressed his shock, "Declan!"
"How's it going Cousin Oliver? Long time no want to see." The man with the dirty blond hair nonchalantly retorted.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Ben controlled his annoyance, "I told Jackson I wanted no part of the family or the business."
"Well somebody should have told your Old Man." Declan leaned his head on his right hand, "Because he's the one who poked the bear."
Ben bit down hard on his bottom lip, "I told Clyde to stay out of this. I begged him to stay out of this."
"You know your Old Man never listens to anyone but himself. So I heard." Declan sat up straight, "He called Jackson while he was in Belfast and low and behold he's back in town yesterday, raising holy hell and driving my Old Man and Lee crazy to come up with a plan to get you out."
Ben let out a deep breathe, "Thanks but tell Jackson I'm grateful to him and his efforts but I'll handle this on my own."
Declan smiled amused, "With whom? You've lost two appeals doing it on your own."
Ben leaned in and whispered, "I have help."
Declan whispered back, "You mean Ciara? I don't think she'll be much help."
Upon hearing Declan's words Ben became panic stricken, "What in God's name do you mean by that?''
Declan leaned further in "Oliver. I'm not coming on Jackson's request or orders. I've come on the orders of another. Until you hear different do what you're told when Jackson sends his plan." He then paused, "Or bad things might happen to Little Miss Ciara."
Ben felt as if he couldn't breathe as his fears of someday not being able to protect Ciara from the Balfour Family were coming through.