Author's Note: Doing this story as a request, you know who you are; hope you enjoy it.
Just One Ticket
Walking towards the police station, Carl King was willing to spill all. He murdered his own father Tom King. The guilt has been killing him, his father was a bad man but that didn't mean he didn't feel the need to be punished for it. His brother Jimmy pulled him back, desperately trying to persuade him not to do this. Bringing up his children Thomas and Anya, they didn't deserve to lose their father Jimmy kept saying. Though he insisted that he had to do this as he gave his brother one last firm hug. His girlfriend Grace Barraclough being witness to all this (she too has tried to convinced Carl not to do this). Though the man seemed to have made his mind up. As a police officer, she would want him to do this but as his girlfriend; she would be quite happy to let him go free. He made his towards her and began walking by her side. This was really going to happen, Jimmy just looking on in the background with his hands behind his head; he was just despairing. Carl doesn't know what possessed him but he stood frozen for a moment, he pulled Grace back slightly...
"What?" Grace questioned him; his phone began to ring.
Mary was calling him (as if she knew what he about to do). A white van came speeding past suddenly, right where Grace would have walked. Making Carl quickly grab onto her, she seemed stunned. Jimmy making his way over for he saw that too, it was like it was planned or something. Grace felt as if she just escaped death as she turned towards the brothers.
"What just happened?" Jimmy asked them.
"I don't know" Carl admitted.
Though whatever it was, it has made Carl lose his nerve. His brother and girlfriend were both telling him he didn't have to do this. He looked down on his mobile phone again, Mary has stopped calling him. With a nervous breathing in, Carl made his way back to his car and got in. His brother getting in the back while his girlfriend got in front, both looking at him from different directions.
"Let's go home" Carl finally spoke; turning on the car's engine and driving away.
They all returned back home together, still not sure what was going on and why Carl made a sudden U-turn. Turning the lock in the key to the family home, Carl entered with Grace and Jimmy. His brother Matthew looking as if he has seen a ghost as he got up to face Carl with a nervous smile.
"You're back?" Matthew asked in slight surprise.
"All of us are back...Nice move that was, getting Mary to ring me" Carl began.
"I don't know what you mean"
"Don't lie to me!" Carl spat; pushing his brother against the wall.
His other brother Jimmy dragging him back as he demanded Carl to tell him what is going on. Grace holding back onto Carl to prevent him from trying his luck again, Matthew just giving a little laugh. Which only made Carl angrier as he asked him "What's so funny?!"
"You are...I don't know even know what you are blaming me for this time, you just run along now with your little policewoman" Matthew jeered.
"Don't think this is going to the end of this"
"The end of what?" Jimmy demanded to know, he was totally clueless.
His brothers however were not letting up. Matthew just gave him a big shrug, making his way upstairs. Grace trying to calm Carl down, suggesting he stay at her house tonight. The man just looked at her, he felt like she was in danger here. So he took her up on her offer as he took her back to the car.
"What's going on?!" Jimmy snapped; he needed to know now. Though like always, his brothers had a feud and left him firmly out of it.
"Jimmy...I can't really explain it, alright? I just know Matthew had planned something awful today" Carl finally answered.
"Can't be any more awful then what you have done"
"Jimmy" Grace went to scold however she was stopped by Carl as the man quickly intervened...
"No it's alright Grace, he's right...Which is why me and you should get far away from here, just like what we were gonna do"
Barely able to sleep later that night, Carl looked down upon a sleeping Grace. Holding her in his arms. He really felt like he would have lost her today, that van came speeding down just moments before she went to walk. It wasn't the universe telling him something, he was convinced his own brother Matthew had planned it to get Grace out the picture. Anything to not blacken the King name anymore. The death of Tom King had started this, Carl started it when he murdered his own father. In a strange way, Matthew had done nothing but made his love for Grace stronger by doing this. The woman in question woke up as she looked up to find Carl still wide awake...
"You okay?" Grace asked him; her voice being like a light in the pitch black bedroom.
"Yeah, I'd rather be here then at home or even worse, a prison cell but I meant what I said before, we need to go" Carl explained.
"What about your son and daughter?"
"Thomas and Anya have their mum...I never been much of a dad to them so why start now? Look Grace, I can't explain much now but we need to go soon. Give me tomorrow to sort out the money and then we will be gone the next day"
With an unconvinced nod, she just gave a sigh. Perhaps they could go abroad for a bit and discuss it again when Carl feels safe enough to talk properly. She rested her head on his chest again. Holding onto his hand and gently caressing it with her fingers, she didn't think she would be here again after this morning. Carl was going to confess and she would have lost him. So maybe this mystery was a blessing in disguise.
"Alright" Grace mumbled before drifting back to sleep.
Some time the next day, Carl had returned home. His brother Jimmy with his girlfriend Kelly Windsor in the living room. They both watched him go up the stairs without even so much of a hello, he was here for his clothes and nothing else. The man chucking all his clothes carelessly into his suitcase as if he was on borrowed time. Maybe that was because that's what he felt like he was on. So with a packed suitcase, he made his way back out quickly. Jimmy however followed him outside.
"Carl! Are you really going?" Jimmy asked him with disbelief.
"I can't stay here...If me and Grace are going to make a proper go of things, we have to be far away from here"
"Why you think? Matthew has hated her from day one and yesterday, I found out how far he was willing to go to get her out of my life. That van was planned to hit her, I just know it Jimmy"
Finally telling him the real reason. He trusted Jimmy with his life quite frankly, he was the one who he first told about killing their own father. Not really knowing what his own family was capable of these days, Jimmy didn't dismiss this claim straight out as he would have done years ago.
"You think he paid someone off to kill her?" Jimmy asked him.
"Yeah I do so I need to go and I need you to help me. Edna is working today, go and distract her while I get some money out"
"Distract Edna? Chance be a fine thing...She wouldn't stop working if the whole place was on fire"
"Just keep her away from the accounts today"
With a silent agreement, Jimmy nodded. Making his way over there, maybe Carl going away for a bit will do him some good. Carl waited a few minutes before making his way over as well (just so Edna doesn't suspect anything if the two of them came in at the same time). They lived together but they never walked to work together. Jimmy was already greeting Edna by the time he got there. Carl sitting himself down at one of the computers to open up the accounts. He was only planning on taking his own share however his brother Matthew's shares were sitting right there and he was tempted to take that as well. Though he fought against it, too much trouble.
"Alright I'm going to go and sort some things out...Goodbye Jimmy, Goodbye Edna" Carl spoke.
His brother looked sad for 'goodbye Jimmy' wasn't just a casual one this time. Edna giving her employee a small nod, none the wiser. Jimmy giving a small sigh as he watched his brother until he was out of sight. Having to turn his attention back to Edna so she wouldn't look at the accounts, at least not until Carl was out the country.
With the money going into his offshore account, Carl had one less thing to worry about. Grace was doing something similar. Though she only told her work she would be taking a 'quick break' and would be taking her holiday fund. Her suitcase was packed but it only had holidays items, suggesting that unlike Carl; she had every intention of coming back. The truth was she didn't think he was doing the right thing, his children needed him. So when he made his way back in with his suitcase, he noticed her much lighter packed self.
"You done packing?" Carl casually questioned.
"I suppose you can buy more clothes when we are there...Right, I just sent my shares of the business to my offshore account in Spain. We got ourselves some town house near the river Ebro"
"All of your share?"
"Obviously...If I got any chance of starting something up there, I need some decent cash to start with"
"Just don't do anything rash, Carl"
"We talked about this Grace, what's changed?"
She just gave a slight shrug and thought, good question; what's changed? Because he hasn't told her anything. He was quite happy to confess all about his father yesterday, now he's willing to leave the country. It didn't add up, something spooked him and she wanted to know what it was.
"You tell me" Grace urged him with her arms crossed.
"I told you...I would rather tell you when we leave the country, I don't feel safe telling you here"
"Please don't keep me in the dark like I'm some child. I'm not going anywhere with you until you tell me what the Hell is going on"
He didn't want to tell her because she was still part of the police. She could easily just make his brother Matthew go down for this. For even though he hates him, he was still his brother and more to the point; he knew everything. If Grace were to take Matthew down for this, Carl wouldn't be far behind (and no doubt Matthew would take Jimmy too). So Carl just thought it was eaiser to keep quiet.
"You love me, don't you?" Carl began.
"Of cause I do but what has that got to do with anything?"
"Just know if you try and take him down for this, I will be going to prison and so will Jimmy. No matter what you tell them. Which is why I can't tell you"
Grace wasn't quite understanding.
"You already told me about you killing your father and I haven't snitched on you yet. So I hardly think this can be any worse" Grace spoke.
"Matthew will take me and Jimmy down"
"What has Matthew done?"
"It's more about what he didn't do...Yesterday, the reason I changed my mind was because I felt something was going to go wrong. Lo and behold, a van comes speeding past just as I grab you back. You telling me that's not a coincidence?"
That explanation was not what she was expecting. She just made her way onto her balcony, trying to make sense of it. Carl following her onto it, she was just looking across at the view. After a few moments, turned back towards him and asked...
"So you want us to leave because I basically got a bounty on my head?"
"Great, my life just keeps getting better" Grace sarcastically remarked.
Carl give a small sigh, his family (with the exception of Jimmy) ruin everything. He himself seemed to destroy everything he touched, maybe they were just cursed. Carl looked generally sorry this time. They may not have started out great but he really did love her in his own way. She loved him back too, she didn't mean to but it just happened. Now she had to make a choice, runaway with Carl or stay put which would lead to him going down with his brothers.
"I totally understand if you want out...Me and my brothers can survive prison" Carl began.
"Can you though?"
"Yeah, Jimmy might struggle but me and Matthew will be fine"
"I need to think about it, Carl"
"Okay, look I got to go and do some more things. If you still wanna do it, great. If not, I understand"
And with that, he took his leave. Leaving her with her thoughts.
A few hours have passed and Grace made her mind up. As she rang Carl and told him to come round again. Which he did so, he was so nervous. What she decided to do wasn't just a break-up, it was going to change his and his family's life forever. He came back and stood in the doorway, wanting her to put him out his misery. The woman just gave a nod as she confirmed...
"I want to go with you"
Carl gave a relieved sigh as he walked in. Giving her a long kiss as a thank you, she really did care then. Pulling apart after a few moments, he just got back from seeing his children actually. Which broke his heart but if he stayed here, Grace was in danger. He didn't wish for that to happen.
"I really do love you and I'm sorry you have to leave your kids for me" Grace told him.
"Me too but it's not your fault, it's Matthew's"
"We will sort something out I promise"
"I know we will...It just takes one ticket and we will be out of here tonight. You sure you wanna do this?"
"I never been so sure"
Her swift response made him give her another long kiss.
The rest of the day was them hiding out. Carl kept expecting a loud knocking on the door, something had to go wrong. Though that didn't happen and night was coming fast, Grace had rang a taxi for the airport. Jimmy had tried calling him countless times after the fact but Carl just ignored it, just giving him a small text which read...
I will call you when I get there
After a few moments of silence, Grace urged Carl to come. The taxi would surely there any minute now. So they made their way downstairs, still keeping a firm eye on everything around them. Nervously counting down the seconds until the taxi would come and pick them up. Which after ten more minutes, it came. Carl giving a relieved sigh as he placed the two suitcases in the back with them. Telling the taxi to go to the airport...
"I can't believe I'm going" Grace muttered to him.
"You don't have to"
"We been through this...Of cause I'm going, I don't want to lose you. I told you I would wait for you if you went to prison. I love you"
"Okay, I'm just making sure"
And with that, their new life in Spain began.